Today several publications are reporting on this:
While another diary histrionically reported this, a very negative and flame-war discussion emerged. Several commenters suggested that someone else diary this so that the MyDD community could discuss this in a more positive way - so here goes.
Question No. 58 in the transition team vetting document for the Obama White House asks that applicants: "Please provide the URL address of any websites that feature you in either a personal or professional capacity (e.g. Facebook, My Space, etc.)"
Question No. 63 asks that applicants "please provide any other information ... that could ... be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the President-Elect."
For a while there this afternoon, President-elect Barack Obama's immensely talented chief speechwriter, 27-year-old Jon Favreau, might have been pondering how to address that question.
That's when some interesting photos of a recent party he attended -- including one where he's dancing with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of secretary of state-designate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and another where he's placed his hand on the cardboard former first lady's chest while a friend is offering her lips a beer -- popped up on Facebook for about two hours. The photos were quickly taken down -- along with every other photo Favreau had of himself on the popular social networking site, save for one profile headshot.
Asked about the photos, Favreau, who was recently appointed director of speechwriting for the White House, declined comment. A transition official said that Favreau had "reached out to Senator Clinton to offer an apology."
Favreau is not the first campaign aide whose online presence has proved awkward. Last March, John McCain aide Soren Dayton forwarded an anti-Obama YouTube video to his private Twitter feed linking Obama with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, leading to his suspension from the campaign. And in 2007, two bloggers hired by former North Carolina senator John Edwards stepped down after blog posts they had written before he hired them became a subject of controversy.
Favreau's case seems unlikely to be so dire; Clinton senior adviser Philippe Reines cast the photos as evidence of increased bonhomie between the formerly rival camps.
"Senator Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon's obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application," he said in an e-mail.
To me this story is really kinda gross but also touches on an important issue.
Namely that technology has changed everything. I recently had a discussion about this phenomena with a colleague, whereby he explained that some of his staff had no problem posting lewd and unprofessional photos, etc on their Facebook pages even though they know that their boss could see/read them and are on their Friend list. We debated whether or not this was a result of technology and if not caring about the implications of their actions was a generational thing.
We went on to talk about how people born in 1990 and after do not know a world without the internet. Which then changes how everything is done, from education to work. For example - imagine a world never having to step in a library????
Anyway - this topic merits a fair discussion both in terms of the photo and the circumstances of its discovery.