If you had any doubt about the relevance of Instagram, I think it is clear that this app is taking center stage-for good-or bad. In recent months the Syrian President and the Chief White House photographer have added an unexpected and interesting perspective to current events.
All eyes are on Syria this week. But the Syria none of us see, perhaps because it’s a figment of his imagination, is the Syria depicted on the Instagram account of President Bashar Assad.
It isn’t only beleaguered celebs and D list actors who look to burnish their images with cleverly shot and well filtered photos. @syrianpresidency is like peering down the rabbit hole. Thus far Assad has posted 143 photos, one even looks to be a #TBT. None reflect the horror of recent events in his war torn country. It’s reminiscent of the “30 Rock” skit where (a pretend) deceased North Korean President Kim Jong Il reads a propaganda weather report “The weather in North Korea is very good. Everything is sunny all the time, always. Good time, beach party.” Surprisingly they have allowed comments that range from @missistanbul “Turkish people are NoT supporting a horrible killer! Only stupids are supporting him.” To @filmandcook “You are a children killers!” (re-printed with spelling errors)
As the weeks unfold and we either take action against Syria or the situation there devolves on its own, Assad’s Instagram is a fascinating Emperor with No Clothes sideshow to watch.
If Assad’s feed is always sunny, the White House feed is always furry. The Chief Official Photographer for the White House @petesouza is also on Instagram.
He joined Instagram the week before the Syrian President. Of the 48 photos Souza has posted, 10 are of the Presidential dogs. Did you know Bo has a new friend? Sunny. Seriously, I couldn’t make that up. Also, I had to google it. You’re welcome.
At least the White House has twice as many followers as Syria. Oddly I have more followers than @battlegroundsyria. They say they are the Free Syrian Army, the photos are taken at battle sites. I can’t verify its authenticity.
It’s weird right? We’re on the brink of war and the politics of public opinion are being played out on Instagram with photos of Obama’s fluffy pups and Assad’s surprisingly stylish wife.
Since Assad is following NO ONE. Read all you want in to that. I thought it would be interesting to see who our White House Photog follows-it would appear he loves his Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots. I’m clearly reading too much in to this and am curious to see how the feeds are used over the next few months.
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