Friday, September 30, 2011

Grand Hu$tle - Michelle Obama's (Clearly!) Staged Target Shopping Trip.

Look, no need to lie. I think I'm just preconditioned to look at everything related to politricks with my 3rd eye. I simply can't help myself. So when this story was all over the news and Black Folks Twitter last night, I wondered if there was a bit more to this story than met the eye.
AP photographer Charles Dharapak told CBS News he took pictures of the first lady at the Target on Route 1 in Alexandria, Virginia. The first lady's office confirmed that the pictures showed Mrs. Obama, though it did not immediately respond when asked if it tipped off Dharapak.

In the photographs, the first lady is wearing a Nike baseball cap, sunglasses and a floral-print button-down shirt with a neon v-neck underlay. She is seen holding a pair of Target bags and pushing a shopping cart. You can see the two full-length photos below.

The pictures contrasts significantly with one taken two days ago by Dharapak showing the first lady at the White House in a sleek blue pencil skirt, high heels and a ruffled blouse.

The AP reported that Secret Service agents, dressed casually, arrived at the store 30 minutes before the first lady, who shopped with an assistant. She reportedly spent 30-40 minutes shopping and was only recognized by her cashier.

The first lady was seen wearing a dress from Target, which sells relatively low-cost clothing, in Phoenix in August 2009. She has also been seen wearing clothes from J. Crew and The Gap.

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Mrs. Obama proudly proclaimed herself "more of a Target shopper," saying she preferred the store to Wal-Mart.
Okay, I know I'm gonna piss quite a few of ya'll off, but I'm callin' bullsh*t on this one. You mean to tell me an AP photographer justsohappened to be in Target, with his $4,500 camera in tow? And nobody in that whole store noticed the Presidential caravan pull up? Come on, really?

Look, I get it. The White House is taking a beating in the press for being out of touch and spending money like water in these times of economic uncertainty. Michelle-O herself has been (unfairly) criticized for wearing expensive sneakers and (somewhat fairly) taking expensive foreign vacations when Real Americans are barely getting by. Showing her at a local Target store (why she ain't go to the one in Columbia Heights though? It's only 5 mins from the WH?) looking for school supplies shows us she's "just like the rest of us", even though in reality, she's absolutely nothing like the rest of us.

I know a Grand Hu$tle when I see one, folks. I invented the term.[1] This was a staged photo-op. It's really no different than the Hollywood practice of having your publicist call paparazzi in advance, then feigning surprise (and disgust) when people start taking photos of you when you just wanna buy a freakin' Mochachino like "the regular people". I'm guessing she'll pop up at Ruff -N- Ready next, huh?

Sorry, I don't buy this one. I love me some Michelle, but I don't love this poorly disguised attempt to "relate to regular Americans in this time of struggle".

Grand Hu$tle, folks.

Question: Was this a staged photo-op, or does the First Lady really get her Tar-Jay on like the rest of us? What's your spot... Target, Wally Word, or (God forbid) K-Mart?

[1] T.I. lost all rights to this phrase with his 7th incarceration. Sorry, Tip.

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