In Iconic Photo, Clinton Is Aghast—or Just Coughing?

The photo is 'riveting,' but it may be misleading
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2011 8:17 AM CDT
In Iconic White House Situation Room Photo From Osama bin Laden Raid, Is Hillary Clinton Shocked or Just Coughing?
Hillary Clinton and others in the Situation Room.   (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza)

(Newser) – The Situation Room photo taken during the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound has quickly gained "icon" status, racking up 1.6 million views in 38 hours. On Salon, Joan Walsh called it "riveting," noting that "Hillary Clinton is beyond anguished; her hand is over her mouth, her eyes red-rimmed." But it turns out she might not have been "anguished" so much as "suffering from allergies," the AP reports.

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"Those were 38 of the most intense minutes," Clinton says. "I have no idea what any of us were looking at at that particular millisecond when the picture was taken." But why was her hand over her mouth? "I am somewhat sheepishly concerned that it was my preventing one of my early spring allergic coughs," she explains. "So, it may have no great meaning whatsoever." Click for another reason to be wary of the photograph. (Read more White House Situation Room stories.)

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