A controversy has emerged centering on the manner in which first lady Michelle Obama’s face was depicted on Saudi state television during the funeral of the late King Abdullah
It appeared by a video, launched into the social media world, that the state-run TV intentionally blurred out the first lady’s face when she and President Obama met with the new Saudi Arabian King Salmam in Riyadh on Tuesday. The video proved to be a false claim, but that didn’t stop rumors from circulating, Bloomberg View reported.
Here’s the video that led to the controversy, via LiveLeak:
Bloomberg’s Josh Rogen observed that videos were posted and then removed from the Saudi’s Facebook page showing her face obscured. He went on to report:
However, Nail al-Jubeir, information director at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, e-mailed me that “Saudi TV has been showing the total arrival ceremony at the airport and at the Palace and nowhere is anything blurred.” CNN’s Hala Gorani tweeted that her colleague Nic Robertson, in Riyadh, saw non-blurred images on Saudi TV. Other news organizations, such as Al Jazeera, showed the meeting without obscuring Michelle Obama’s face.
Part of the problem may have been that the first lady had no customary headscarf when she arrived in Riyadh, as shown in this tweeted photograph:
What Michelle Obama wore to meet Saudi King Salman – pants, blouse, coat over. No bare arms but no scarf either pic.twitter.com/8YjOLZynjt
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) January 27, 2015
Then there were this observation:
Upon arrival to #Saudi @MichelleObama hasn’t covered her hair or used the abaya imposed on all women in the Kingdom. Others cannot dare.
— Angeles Espinosa (@AngelesELPAIS) January 27, 2015
Was that the reason for the blurry images? Not so, according to this tweet:
Rumor #Saudi TV blurred out Michelle Obama’s face at airport reception not true. video below https://t.co/fbJIWQVuek pic.twitter.com/anZ9Xf8wz6
— Fahad Nazer (@fanazer) January 27, 2015
Who blurred or didn’t blur Michelle Obama’s face, and why it was or wasn’t done may remain a mystery. One thing that’s crystal clear in all the videos is that King Salman greeted the president with a handshake, but then ignored the first lady during the ceremony.
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