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Hoax Picture - Obama Holding Phone Upside Down

Outline
Widely circulated image supposedly depicts US President Obama holding a phone handset upside down while posing for a photo opportunity.



Brief Analysis
The image is a digitally altered version of an original photograph depicting Obama holding the phone correctly. The hoax image has been circulating since 2008 but has recently surfaced once again on Facebook. An earlier hoax picture in the same vein supposedly depicted US President Bush holding a phone upside down.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.





Last updated: July 30, 2012
First published: July 30, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example

Obama Upside Down Phone Hoax

When you are faking a pose for a photo opportunity with the American Flag...at least get the handset turned in the right direction!!




Detailed Analysis
This widely circulated image supposedly shows US President Barack Obama posing for a photograph while holding a phone handset o his ear upside down. The image, along with several derogatory descriptions of the depicted incident, has circulated via email, blogs and social media outlets since 2008. The image has recently resurfaced on Facebook with the caption "When you are faking a pose for a photo opportunity with the American Flag...at least get the handset turned in the right direction" included as part of a single graphic.

However, the image is a hoax. In fact, it is a digitally altered version of the following original photograph which shows President Obama holding the phone correctly:

Obama Holding Phone Original Version

Many observers would quickly recognize the digitally altered version as just a political joke or visual political commentary. Nevertheless, submissions and comments indicate that there are also many people who believe that the hoax image is genuine.

Astute observers will note that the fake version includes a wall clock set to 3 o'clock. An article about the image on About Urban Legends points out that the addition of the clock is intended to reference a February 2008 TV ad campaign for Obama's then rival, Hillary Clinton:

It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing. Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.

The faux image was originally posted on political humour blog IMAO on March 3rd 2008.

Obama's presidential predecessor George W. Bush was targeted in a very similar - and equally fake - hoax image:
Bush Upsaide Down Phone Hoax

And yet another such fake image supposedly showed President Bush holding a book the wrong way up:
Bush Holding Book Upside down Hoax

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References

Obama On Phone Original
Urban Legend - Obama on the Phone
There Is an International Crisis at 3 A.M.; President Obama Answers the Call
Bush Reads Book Upside-Down


Last updated: July 30, 2012
First published: July 30, 2012
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer