Photo of Obama being briefed on Sandy Hook shootings released

Photo Shows Obama Hearing of Sandy Hook Shooting (ABC News)

Proving the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, the White House has released a photograph of U.S. President Barack Obama at the moment he was told about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

In the photo, taken on Dec. 14, the president looks distressed with arms folded and eyes closed as John Brennan, his deputy national security adviser, briefs him on the tragedy which ultimately resulted in death of 20 first graders.

Later that day, a still visibly shaken Obama addressed reporters saying: "we've been through this too many times."

Why is the White House releasing the photos?

The practice of releasing 'personal moment' still images has become a common practice of the Obama administration. In 2009, the White House launched an official photostream on Flickr which now has over 4,000 images.

Political consultant Marcel Wieder says the images are designed to reinforce certain messages.

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"The image makers around the President (or any international leader) are very concerned about how that leader is viewed by the public," Wieder, president of Toronto-based Aurora Strategy Group, told Yahoo! Canada News.

"Politics relies a lot on imagery.

"These messages vary day to day but they usually are designed to show the President as a decisive leader who projects America's global leadership. They also try to humanize him so that ordinary Americans can relate to him. That's why they show him playing basketball, hanging out with his wife and children or visiting a local burger joint."

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