Another lesson in social media responsibility came, albeit inadvertently, at the expense of Good Morning America anchor, Lara Spencer.
On Tuesday, November 3rd, the TV journalist posted a photo on Instagram showing a rather close-up shot of herself and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, all smiles and looking rather friendly with Spencer’s arm wrapped around Trump’s shoulder and wrapped around her waist.
Spencer accompanied the photo with the caption, “Can’t beat having the REAL DonaldJTrump on,” which she changed following the backlash that ensued.
Since only the upper half of their bodies are shown in the photo, people immediately speculated that Spencer was sitting on Trump’s lap, which she vehemently denied.
In an effort to clarify the alleged misunderstanding, Spencer changed the caption of the same photo to “Let’s clear this up – I’m standing next to Donald Trump. Said a quick hello and welcomed him to the GMA studio for first time since he announced his candidacy.”
Comments on the photo were actually a mixture of criticism and support. One person commented, “You wouldn’t catch anyone on @todayshow doing this,” while another one posted, “Good on you and ignore the haters. Fun photos that you will remember for years.”
More serious reactions about Spencer’s ambiguous photo were heard from various groups. Her credibility as a journalist is currently being scrutinized, not because of her personal relationships and political inclinations, but because of her decision to post something that would give the public a reason to think that she is not impartial.
Media Ethics professor Aly Colon said that Spencer’s photo “gives the impression that these people are close to each other in some way” and that it “puts her in a position where people might question whether as a journalist she is representing the public or Donald Trump.”
Interestingly, Lara Spencer appeared on GMA’s Halloween special as none other than… Donald Trump. She did a skit in which she mimicked Trump’s speech during his book launch, and repeatedly “firing” ABC employees in the building.