You’ve probably read by now that, 59 days before he will take an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” including the First Amendment, the president-elect held an off-the-record meeting with several news executives, and criticized the press for its “outrageous” coverage of him. In particular, he singled out NBC News for running a photo of him that showed him with a double chin. According to reports, he asked that they run “nicer” pictures of him.

As the editor of a publication dedicated to helping photographers do their jobs well, without fear or favor, I was disturbed that the president-elect could be working the umpire—displaying outrage in hopes of getting more favorable treatment in the future—for instance, getting photo editors to pause before they publish a photo that might provoke his ire.

I also wondered: Of all the photos of Donald Trump that NBC has used, which one so needled him that he would take a moment to discuss it instead of more substantive issues?

I went looking for published photos of him with a double chin—on NBC News and the wire services it uses. He might have been referring to this one:
from NBC News
Or this one:

chin-nbc-1

Or this one:

From NBC News

Or this photo from Getty Images:

© Joe Raedle/Getty Images

 

Or this one from Getty Images:

©Chip Somedevilla/Getty Images

Or this one from Getty Images:

© Jessica Kourkounis/Getty

Or this one from Reuters: chin-reuters-finger-common-large

 

But why single out NBC News?

Here’s another photo released by Getty Images. This photo was published by Breitbart News, the “alt-right” outlet that was chaired by Steve Bannon, now Donald Trump’s pick as top White House advisor. This is how he was depicted by a source the president-elect considers favorable.

From Breitbart News

I have a double chin, so I know: Unless the photographer is standing on a ladder, there’s no flattering way to photograph someone with a double chin. If any photographers in the press pool covering the White House or Trump Tower are afraid to take a photo of the incoming commander-in-chief without benefit of a step stool, I feel compelled to point out two things. One, the fight against the double chin is a lost cause. Second, the courts have consistently supported free speech and ruled that, in cases of libel and defamation, the truth is sufficient defense. Which, I’d add, is another of the president-elect’s grievances.

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