Democratic Women Picture Taking
January 4, 2013
Some controversy has emerged about the official photo of Democratic Women in the 113th Congress. Viewers on C-SPAN could seen the entire event unfold on the steps of the Capitol on the opening day of the 113th Congress. As the women assembled in the cold and then gave up their coats for a better shot, stragglers kept showing up and joined the photo. Finally, this shot was taken, released to the press, and carried in many news accounts. This was the largest group of Democratic women representatives in history, 61 in all.
After the women dispersed, others still showed up. An additional photo was taken of the four later arrivals including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. C-SPAN captured this picture taking in its complete coverage.
Later these two pictures were combined using photo software inserting the missing women in the last row and posted on the minority leader’s web site.
Speaker Pelosi was asked about the picture at her weekly press briefing also covered by C-SPAN. She was unaware of the picture modification, but indicated that it was an accurate representation of the Democratic women in the House. Her answer is here.
The Poynter Online released this account of the controversy.
These type of events are common in DC and in public relations. By covering events in their entirety, C-SPAN allows its viewers to see complete events as they unfold.