Tavares's mom kicks things off with threats for Obama (who has been, we should note, exonerated by Gawker's careful video analysis) and Sarkozy:
If I were there, I would have boxed their ears. They should be ashamed of themselves.
But she doesn't stop there. Instead, she expounds on her daughter's self-consciousness:
She is really skinny and only ever wears pants. Mayara is timid and ashamed of her body. This was the first time in her life that she wore a dress, and it was borrowed from a friend in the shantytown because she doesn't own one.
Nothing helps a teen who's "ashamed of her body" like her mom talking about said shame to the New York Post. And Dad gets in on the act too. He says, "My daughter is not a model and she is not a sex symbol." And, "She is dedicated to helping the poor, not to seducing world leaders." And, "Thank God that Berlusconi was nowhere near her." God, Dad.
We hope Tavares's parents' motives for speaking out were purer than the Post's motives for interviewing them — or for publishing what Media Matters' Jamison Foser calls a "highly misleading photo" in the first place. Foser calls out not just the Post, but also ABC, Fox, and Ann Althouse for involving the innocent Tavares in their attempt to create a scandal where there was none. He writes,
They treated this junior G-8 delegate as an object - for all the world to see - simply so they could crack some stupid jokes about President Obama, or to score some infintismaly small (and false) point against a political figure they don't like.
Foser says the news outlets' reactions to video exonerating Obama — in general a half-hearted "never mind," in Althouse's case a stubborn "I stand by my analysis" — aren't sufficient. He writes,
The smear of Obama is already out there; a young woman was already dragged into a ridiculous story that treated her as an object rather than a person. That can't be undone.
No, but as the Post demonstrates, you can always add insult to injury. And when a teenager is "treated as an object," the best thing to do is to call her dad.