An interesting thing about the whole “back massage” controversy became obvious when I finally stopped seeing the still images and caught the 5-second video clip. My clarifying point? Still images can be interpreted in ways completely contrary to the actual events. Click the video link, and watch the “event” as it unfolded.
We have no idea what led up to this moment. Perhaps President Bush and Chancellor Merkel were joking about something. They’re still human beings, afterall. Hell, maybe she goosed him over at the coffee bar. On the way back to his seat, the President took a moment to “ambush” the Chancellor, surprising her by grabbing her shoulders and offering a familiar shake. She did indeed respond as if surpised, throwing her arms up in exaggerated fashion, as if to exclaim “ah, you got me!”. It looks, to the non-conspiratorial viewer, like a scene played out a thousand times a day in offices, classrooms, and halls the world over – a little horseplay between people who likely consider each other friends.
A moment of horseplay, caught on film, mocked by those looking for any excuse to defame the President.
Of course, it looks inappropriate when all you see is a single still image. Which is exactly what the President’s detractors want you to see.
Get a life, people.