Bob Woodward Learns the Perils of Facebook

Tagged photos quickly untagged

Sometime Sunday night, City Desk noticed that the photos section of Bob Woodward’s Facebook profile was displaying three cartoons by conservative political-cartoonist Dana Summers. All three toons were a satirical look at President-elect Barack Obama’s relationship with the media. In one, a cop commands a gaggle of spectators fawning over Obama to “Stop throwing your underwear at him and make way for the media.” “We are the media,” comes the punchline.

Though the journalist who helped take down Nixon has, at points, been accused of pandering to President Bush, such uneven sentiments about Obama and the media seemed out of place.

We were right to be suspicious. Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that Woodward hadn’t posted the drawings, instead, one of his 2,886 Facebook friends– a conservative named Michelle Jennifer R. Santos– had tagged the cartoons with the reporter’s name (”…for debate purposes,” she explains), a move that effectively presented the political propaganda alongside other pics (a head shot and a candid) available on Woodward’s page. The preeminent Postie confirms this in an email. ” I did not post [the cartoons]. Apparently someone has tagged them for me and others.”

A while after Woodward’s e-mail arrived the cartoons were gone, leaving us to conclude that the journalist had figured out what every person who has ever had a badly-lit, drunken, half-naked photo of him or herself uploaded to the social networking site by a supposed friend has. You can un-tag.

In any event, the ink-slinger isn’t sweating it. Just another example of an Internet world that offers less privacy and less control over your life, he writes, “But no big deal.”

Bob Woodward Learns the Perils of Facebook was originally published on City Desk on Dec. 16, 2008, at 8:00 pm

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