The Washington Post

White House goes #insideSOTU on Instagram

White House press secretary Jay Carney turned the tables -- er, camera -- on the media Monday.

Carney entered his daily briefing toting an iPhone and, before taking questions, took a quick picture of the assembled press corps from his vantage point behind the lectern.

"You're tweeting?" a reporter asked.

"Some of you might know that I took over the White House Instagram account today," Carney responded.

"Are you doing a selfie right now?" someone asked.

"No, no, no. It's not about me," the spokesman said.

In fact, Carney was playing photographer for the day because he had been handed control of the White House's Instagram account as part of the administration's behind-the-scenes look at President Obama's State of the Union preparation. Each of the last several days, a different West Wing staffer -- including senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, domestic policy adviser Cecilia Munoz and speechwriter Cody Keenan -- have spent a day documenting, through photos, their preparation for Obama's prime-time address Tuesday night. They are using the hashtag #insideSOTU for the White House's 213,000 followers.

The photos have purported to show Obama working on drafts of his speech and meeting with aides to discuss policy proposals. Carney's shots include him meeting with press aides and heading into the Oval Office to meet with the president.

"Say cheese!" Carney wrote as the caption to his picture of the press corps.

Not to be outdone, some members of the media, including Politico's Jennifer Epstein, took a shot of Carney taking a photo of them and posted it on Twitter.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.



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Aaron Blake · January 27, 2014

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