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Reading the White House Flickr Feed

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 5 2010

The New York Times' Michael Shear parses the White House's Flickr feed for a read of who has juice in the Obama White House.

[S]earch through the photos and you do get a sense of the pecking order.

At the top of that list is Vice President Joe Biden, who appeared in 155 photos as of the weekend. There’s Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden high-fiving after a basketball game. There’s one of the two of them riding in a motorcade, with the president sending a message on his Blackberry. And the two men having lunch at Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington, Va.

After the vice president and Mr. Emanuel, there are a group of advisers who all appear in roughly 70 pictures each: David Axelrod, senior adviser (72); Robert Gibbs, press secretary (62); Phil Shiliro [sic], legislative liason (64); Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (69).

Ben Smith rightly points out that the White House's Flickr feed is a curated presentation, not a unfiltered view of what's happening in the White House -- and, I should add, that includes both what gets photographed, and what gets posted and when. That said, there might be something to the fact that Schiliro, Obama's congressional point person, pops up in as many photos as the better-known Axelrod and Gibbs, and yet the a lead writer of the Times' politics and government blog slightly misspells his name. His high number of appearances in the White House Flickr feed is probably a better read on his signficance in the White House than his public profile.

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