A pic of Mitt Romney bending over, while a seemingly astonished schoolgirl stands behind him, mouth agape. Romney’s motorcade had made an abrupt U-turn after the candidate spotted the kids waving outside Fairfield Elementary School. “I just saw you on TV!” exclaimed one little girl.
The photograph, posted Monday by The Associated Press for all to see, has since surged across the Internet. The candidate riding a wave of confidence from last week’s debate performance was suddenly made, pardon, the butt of jokes.
“In this photo, while it may appear funny, AP knows exactly what viewers are thinking,” he wrote in an email. “It’s not legitimate news. AP knows that viewers are going to chuckle and imagine what the little girl is seeing, and it makes Gov. Romney appear a bit foolish. That isn’t the purpose or mission of photojournalism. … Candidate or not, it is not the mission of a news organization to place anyone in a position to be ridiculed or made fun of. Reporting the news is, and this is not newsworthy.”
Stephen Ward, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the photo by itself was not too offensive but noted it could be exploited.
Here is the final pictures below: