Much has been made of the “official skeeter” photo of our Dear Leader, and the commandment from on High that “thou shall not Photoshop” the Hallowed image, but just as the Lamestream Media patiently waited for The Photo to miraculously appear and back up the claims by His Majesty that “we go skeet shooting all the time” at Camp David, I waited patiently for the cynical analyses to roll in….
First came the Photoshops, many and varied, showing a great deal of skill and humor – target rich environment, don’tcha know?
Then, sure enough, the cynical analyses rolled in, few at first, and then more and more, almost as if delivered in “burst” mode! There was even a cynical viewpoint that ALMOST got one of the lapdoggies in trouble….
From the hallowed halls of the Washington Post, came an unusual display of cynicism, which they kept up for several days – not wanting to be faulted for rushing to (positive) judgement. Of course, they eventually fell in line (GOOD lapdoggies), but they clearly had some doubts:
We searched high and low through hundreds of news reports to see if there was ever any other mention of Obama engaged in skeet shooting. We found that Obama, in a weekly radio address in 2012, congratulated Kim Rhode on becoming “the first American to win individual medals in five straight Olympics with her gold in skeet shooting” and Army Sgt. Vincent Hancock for a second skeet gold.But when the Olympic athletes later visited the White House, Obama did not make a reference to having attempted skeet shooting. Instead, he spoke of other sports that moved him to do better…
WP also reported these comments from an Obama support group:
During the 2008 campaign, a group that called itself the American Hunters and Shooters Association — which some pro-gun groups attacked as a front for anti-gun forces — endorsed Obama and announced he would attend a skeet shooting event in September in Colorado. “The Obama campaign says the skeet shooting event will highlight the Democrat’s support of the Second Amendment and hunting rights,” the Associated Press reported. But Ray Schoenke, a former Washington Redskins football player who headed the organization, said in an interview Wednesday that in the end Obama did not attend the Colorado event.
Schoenke said that after Obama’s election, the organization — which he said was intended to bridge the gap between urban liberals and rural gun owners — closed down because of lack of support from the Obama administration. He said he did many events in support of the Obama campaign in 2008 but Obama never mentioned having ever handled a firearm.
Yeah, TOTALLY not a front organization!
Then there’s James Taranto, over at the WSJ’s “Best Of The Web Today“, in his best third person plural:
But a lot of people, including this columnist, doubt that the photo depicts what it purports to show. The White House distributed the pic in response to widespread skepticism of President Obama’s assertion, in an interview with a liberal editor and a former campaign coordinator, that “up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.” The man who infamously said that rural Pennsylvanians and Midwesterners “cling to guns” had never before publicly indicated any interest in shooting sports.
The photo, purportedly shot last Aug. 4 (which happens to be the president’s birthday), shows Obama holding a shotgun. The barrel is smoking, indicating that the gun has just been fired. What’s odd about it is that the president is aiming straight ahead, as if he were firing a rifle at a stationary target.
But in skeet shooting, the target, a disk known as a clay pigeon, is moving. It is launched from one of two “houses” and travels in a parabolic trajectory across the field. In order to hit it, one has to move the gun so as to follow the path of the clay. It’s not impossible that one would fire at shoulder level, as Obama is doing in the photo, but it’s unlikely. We therefore surmise that the picture is the product of a photo shoot, not a skeet shoot.
Rounding out the print outlets, we have the Union Leader’s very own Drew Cline (writing at American Spectator), who proclaimed “Dive for cover – his Aim is off!“:
As he presses hard for new gun control measures that are broadly unpopular in many states, Obama has turned again to his “I’m-just-a-regular-guy-like-you” routine. Despite having famously expressed his true feelings about gun enthusiasts to a group of wealthy San Francisco donors in 2008 — “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations” — Obama believes (because it has worked so well for him before) he can belay fears about his real intentions by intimating a genuine kinship with gun owners. He told the New Republic that he “shoots skeet all the time” when at Camp David.
Clearly, the president does not shoot skeet “all the time.” (I’ve shot since I was about 15, for what it’s worth.) That would be no big deal, except that the president said he was a regular shooter, and he said it while pushing for tough gun control measures.
Townhall.com posted this AP article, which contained another nugget of skepticism:
A top official with the National Skeet Shooting Association said the photo suggests Obama is a novice shooter.
“This isn’t something he’s done very often because of how he’s standing, how he has the gun mounted,” said Michael Hampton, executive director of the San Antonio-based association.
Hampton said Obama’s remark about “skeet shooting all the time” and the White House photo would have met less skepticism had the president spoken about his hobby months before this new debate over guns in the U.S.
“Once it becomes controversial and there’s problems, to talk about it then, that’s where it becomes very debatable and is not being received as well as if he would have done this six months ago,” Hampton said.
Clash Daily, as bloggers tend to be, was a little more forthright, declaring “”:
As a lifelong shotgunner, I immediately smelled a rat. Nothing in the photo looks right and upon closer examination, it is a complete fraud.
One need go no further than examining the ports on the shotgun. Ports are tiny holes sometimes drilled near the muzzle (the business end of the gun) to release energy and reduce recoil. They serve as a pressure release valve of sorts. One will immediately notice that there is smoke coming from the right side of the gun in the photo as well as out the front. The only problem is that there is no smoke coming from the ports on the left side of the gun, clearly seen in the photo suggesting that the smoke was doctored into the photo. Furthermore, the smoke exiting on the right side of the gun does not match the port pattern on the left. If this gun was being fired as suggested by the White House, then the smoke would be coming out the ports on the gun clearly seen in the picture and evenly on both sides.
To add insult to injury, the smoke pictured is not clearly defined and appears to be moved by wind. At this stage in the firing process, this phenomenon would be nearly impossible. The smoke should look like it is being rapidly forced out small holes instead of something wafting from a chimney.
Now, what’s wrong with the president’s picture?
First the weapon is nearly level to the ground. Can’t be skeet shooting, nor likely trap either.
Second, it is evident that the President has never shot a shotgun before as his stance is leaning slightly backward. Look at the position of his torso to his legs. Skeet or trap shooters never do this. They lean slightly forward like a boxer in the ring.
Third, he doesn’t know or was never taught that the butt of the weapon must fit to his shoulder. He’s holding the weapon with a gap between his shoulder and the top of the butt. Sure you can fire it that way, but expect lots of pain if not bruising later.
Fourth, either skeet or trap shooters wear either a shell bag or a vest or both. Apparently, the president is too tough for that.
Fifth, most shooters wear baseball style caps. The bill helps block unwanted sun in your eyes. Most golfers do too for the same reason.
Sixth, he appears to be aiming as one would with a rifle. Doesn’t mean you don’t do that with a shotgun but as you are trying to hit a moving target, as opposed to a stationary one, your body must swivel with the target right or left and up or down. The worst shotgun shooters are those that try to aim the weapon like a rifle.
Seventh, I suppose it could happen, but in my fifty years of shooting a shotgun, skeet, trap, and hunting, including double barrel muzzle loading black powder shotguns, I have never once seen a smoke pattern like that. Smoke going straight out the barrel is normal, but what the heck is that second smoke stream shooting behind and away from the barrel? Perhaps some sort of release value to diminish the recoil from the shot but I’ve never seen that on a range.
1. The President has no shoulder guard for recoil. No shoulder pad: He probably expected to “shoot” one single shot. And that was that. No need for a cumbersome padding for his shoulder. Not exactly a crackerjack constant practitioner, despite his avowal.
2. He is wearing sunglasses. Dark, tinted, sleek, stylized. Not what you wear to shoot skeet or any firearms practice. The correct protective gear is clear plastic goggles, usually rubbery and strapped around the head. Not Foster Grants.
3. The awkwardness of the President’s stance leads one to believe he was insufficiently tutored. Or he had no idea what he was doing. And there were no handy-dandy experts around to correct his body language. Stance is all in shooting, as is grip. BTW: The President is left-handed-does that square with his preferred shooting side?
4. His shotgun is aimed straight ahead, where all skeet shooters we know of, including ourselves, follow the arc of the clay once the shooter yells “Pull!” Shooting straight is simply not doable, unless he is shooting at the person releasing the clay from its boot housing. The shotgun thus ought to be pointing up, to right or to left, at a strong angle to the ground.
5. His hair is much greyer now than it was last year–the percentage of grey in the shot indicates he went back in time to get the picture, but forgot to match his hair black-to-grey ratio to match last year’s follicular manifestation.
6. One picture? Why not scads? A photog almost always accompanies the President wherever he goes, save to the loo, perhaps. Do we understand that in the age of video and YouTube, cell phones with great cameras, tablets and throw-aways, there was but a single, lonely picture taken of this sport that the President claims to do “all the time”? Why no video? Why no pic-pac (my neologism), a strip of 4 sequential shots like we used to buy for $.50 from a machine with a tiny swivel-stool seat and a half-curtain of mustard-stained poly?
7. Why was this so deep a secret until the President spilled the beans, declaring himself this virtuoso skeet aficionado? Not a whisper of this avocation escaped his lips or the lips of his confidants before his gambit to comfort second amendment fans and voters.
8. Can we ascertain with certitude that the photo background matches that to be found in Camp David? The CIA and FBI are aces at sussing out from a random area shot where something transpired. We did it for years around every photo of UBL, in a mountain redoubt, on a rock-strewn hillock, in a rural Afghani meadow, etc. Have we subjected this photograph to the same rigorous testing we employ with, say, Hezb’allah “war shots” accusing Israel, say, of atrocities and poison gas, cluster bombs, lethal resins and deliberate bombing of civilians? In that case, there is an entirely lovely coining, Faux-tography, developed to represent the array of deceit practiced by stringers in the pay of terror groups but not averse to pinning false charges on the Israelis by a mere flick of the computer COPY and PASTE technical wizardry.
9. Is the man in the photo even Barack Hussein Obama? Or is it a body double? The President famously conferred with Kathryn Bigelow of ZERO DARK THIRTY fame, giving her all manner of privileged and classified information in order to macho up the truth factor of her boffo capture-and-kill lenser on the triangulation leading to UBL’s ballyhoo’ed capture and FedEx dispatch to the 72 virgins over in the stucco’ed, heavily reinforced Bin Ladin fortress in downtown Abbottabad, a mere mile or so from Afghanistan’s West Point.
10. Good to note the President wore ear protection, which was an easy grab for the set designer to haul in. Does he have that ear-protective design still in his possession, or was it borrowed? Can we test for DNA?
In all cases, there’s more detail in the linked articles – these are only the highlights.
The bottom line? Not only can’t Obama shoot straight (and we don’t just mean his dissembling), but his photo staff can’t shoot straight, either. Indeed, I have previously speculated that the Fraudian slips are so numerous that there’s a mole in Our Leader’s press office who is amusing himself by leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that Barry is too clueless to spot.