White House To Press Pool: No Topless Pics Of President Obama

“I’m not going to let you guys take a picture of me with my shirt off,’’ President Obama said to reporters earlier this year, during a trip to Florida’s Gulf coast. And Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports in the New York Times that the ban on photographing the Commander-in-Chief’s naked torso is also in effect in Hawaii: “The White House gave the press pool traveling with the president strict instructions that there would be no long lenses or other sneaky attempts to take pictures of a shirtless leader of the free world.”

So what is Obama trying to hide? Just his ripped bod, apparently:

The subject of images of Mr. Obama sans shirt has been a touchy one during his presidency. In 2008, when he was president-elect, some pictures emerged from him body-surfing in Hawaii, and he seemed a little sheepish when they were splashed all over the tabloids and magazines. (“Buff Bam is Hawaii hunk,’’ The New York Post exclaimed.) Ever since, the White House has been determined to avoid a repeat.

Michelle Obama has done her part to protect her husband’s body from the American public; during that trip to Florida, when reporters suggested that pictures of President Obama enjoying a swim would be “a good thing,” she replied, “No, it’s not.”

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