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No magazine cover shots this time: The White House banned reporters and photographers from taking shirtless pictures of President Obama while he snorkeled yesterday, an excursion that was part of his Hawaii vacation.

According to The New York Times’ pool report, reporters traveling with the President were issued, “strict instructions that there would be no long lenses or other sneaky attempts to take pictures of a shirtless leader of the free world,” while he and his family went snorkeling in the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve.

The White House has good reason to try to cap the cameras; in 2008, fresh off his election victory, photos were snapped of Obama as he swam in Hawaii; they were plastered all across tabloid magazines, and even made the cover of The Washingtonian. That magazine declared him “hot.”

In fact, photoshopping Obama became a cottage industry; even that Washingtonian photo was altered, arguably a borderline unethical move. “I know we changed the color of his suit to red, and dropped out the background,” the magazine’s lifestyle editor Leslie Milk said.


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