Selfie

Video: How Ortiz snapped Obama in a Samsung selfie

April 4, 2014: 5:11 AM ET

The White House is miffed about the unauthorized promotional stunt, but what can it do?

FORTUNE -- In case you haven't seen it, here's how Boston Red Sox slugger David ("Big Papi") Ortiz managed to enlist President Barack Obama in a Samsung promotional campaign.

Samsung retweeted Ortiz' selfie to its 5.2 million Twitter followers and told the Boston Globe that it was "thrilled to see the special, historic moment David Ortiz captured with his Galaxy Note 3."

The White House was not so thrilled.

"I can say that as a rule, the White House objects to attempts to use the president's likeness for commercial purposes," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday. "And we certainly object in this case."

"Object" is about all the White House can do. Even Samsung has First Amendment rights.

President Obama told Ellen Degeneres last month that he thought her Oscar selfie -- the one that famously overtook his post-election snapshot to become the world's most widely shared tweet -- was "a pretty cheap stunt."

For the video of that exchange, see below.

Apple (AAPL) had a run-in with Degeneres four years ago when she ran a fake ad for an iPhone. Here's that video:

  • Apple's iPhone loses the New York Times' selfie smackdown

    None of the leading smartphones are optimized for the hottest shot of all.

    FORTUNE -- "Selfies are great," says the New York Times' Molly Wood (rhymes with Hollywood), "but the front-facing cameras on cellphones are terrible."

    "Selfies taken on most major smartphones," she writes in Thursday's issue, "are almost uniformly of poor quality. They're unfocused, pixelated, dark, blown-out, backlit, grainy and worst of all, distorted (I swear, I have a normal size nose!)."

    Some may MORE

    - Feb 6, 2014 5:05 AM ET
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