Washington, Oct 3 : Critics have raised suspicions whether Michelle Obama’s trip to Target was just an innocent shopping spree, suggesting that it was a calculated attempt to deflect criticism of the US First Lady’s more expensive tastes in vacations and wardrobe.
Photos taken by AP photographer of the First Lady strolling away from the checkout counter at the Target store in Alexandria have spark controversy around the globe as soon as the pictures hit televisions, newspapers and websites.
“First Lady Michelle Obama shopping at Target with an AP photographer in tow planned? I think so,” the Washington Post quoted Fox News and syndicated radio host Sean Hannity as tweeting.
The Blaze, a website launched last year by radio host Glenn Beck, wrote “One wonders if First Lady Michelle Obama truly thought she could pass for an ‘everywoman’ as she shopped”.
Rush Limbaugh called it “What a phony-baloney plastic banana good-time rock-and-roller optic photo op.”
However, neither the White House nor the AP reveal how photographer Charles Dharapak came to be the only news photographer present at the Alexandria Target to capture Obama’s shopping excursion.
“All I can say is that it was the result of good source work on his part,” said AP spokesman Paul Colford, declining to elaborate on the sources or the work involved.
A spokeswoman for Obama, Kristina Schake, also declined to discuss how the photographs came about.
In a statement, she said, “It is not uncommon for the First Lady to slip out to run an errand, eat at a local restaurant or otherwise enjoy the city outside the White House gates.” (ANI)