Breaking News: President's dog photographed - scandal follows

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    Released today, President Obama's dog Bo appears in his first official photograph. The Portuguese Water Dog was a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy. Despite the claim on the attached baseball card, Bo does not eat tomatoes.
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It's news everyone has been waiting for.

President Obama's dog has an official photograph. Sure, it's taken a long time. But we can all agree, after looking at the photo, that it's been worth the wait.

Nice

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Sitting on the South Lawn of the White House, Bo appears to be collar free. Although we're not entirely sure, it looks like one of his eyes may even be visible in the shot.

Along with the photo, the White House has included a baseball card listing all the important characteristics, traits, and ambitions for the First Dog.

His favorite hobby? Playing on the White House lawn and going on walks with the Obama family.

His goal as First Dog? Make friends with foreign "dognitaries". (bah-doom-bah).

How about an interesting fact? Even though Bo is a Portuguese Water Dog, he doesn't know how to swim.

Sinister

This is normally where a feel-good story ends. But this is Washington. There's always something sinister lurking. And leave it to the guys at Gawker to track it down.

You can thank John Cook in particular -- who may just be the 21st century version of Woodward and Bernstein (he's that good -- he's both people ) -- for having the courage to track down this story.

If you look closely at Bo Obama's baseball card, you'll notice that the First Dog has listed "tomatoes" as his favorite food. Cook didn't think that sounded right. So, just like the famed Washington Post duo from the early 1970's, he did some investigating.

After voraciously pounding the pavement surfing the Internet, Cook discovered that tomatoes are poisonous to dogs.

Say it's not so, Bo

Does this mean that the Obamas are slowly poisoning Bo? Or was Bo so unhappy he was trying to end it all?

All these questions. But no answers. Cook sprang to action.

"Bo's life was in danger. We had to warn him! But how? First, we needed to call the White House. Maybe it was all a mistake. Maybe they just didn't know the toll those tomatoes were taking on the poor beast," Cook wrote.

Unafraid to take it directly to the source, Cook had the courage to call the First Lady's office.

"Bo does not eat tomatoes," a spokeswoman for the First Lady told Cook.

"It was all a joke, they say. When Bo first came to the White House, back in April, Obama ad-libbed a little zinger to the press: 'The only concern we have is apparently Portuguese water dogs like tomatoes -- Michelle's garden is in danger,' he said."
"So when the White House ginned up it's latest propaganda campaign to foist Bo on the American people just like they're doing with Communism, they inserted a little joke in there -- 'Favorite food: tomatoes -- or toys' -- for the greater glory of the Anointed One, to remind us all how funny he is."

Cook solved this one. Awards will certainly follow.

History

If this makes you long for the more scandal-free days of the past administration, well they weren't so scandal-free.

Barney, President Bush's Scottish Terrier, was involved in his own controversy. "Ballgate" it was called. I know, because I was at the center of the storm.

And, just like Nevada Senator John Ensign, it's best to bring it up now -- pro-actively -- rather than have it sprung on me later.

It was during my days as a spokesman for the White House where I hit my low point. The website Ledge of Liberty -- now just an empty shell of a political blog -- still carries the infamous headline: "White House Admits Fault." The sad details follow:

This just in -- White House staff member, Jimmy Orr, has accepted blame for deliberately misleading the American people.
It was on the official White House website where the controversy began -- Orr had repeatedly referred to Barney the dogs chew toy as a soccer ball. It was only after a thorough investigation, the shocking truth was revealed -- President's dog was not playing with a soccer ball in the Christmas 2003 “Barney and Spot's Winter Wonderland” video, it was actually a volleyball.
"I blame myself", says White House Internet News Director, Jimmy Orr. Though a resignation has not been ordered, there is speculation as to whether or not the White House Director will be able to effectively carry out his job in light of the recent scandal.
Bush administration critics are calling for "heads to roll" over Ballgate, but for me satisfaction comes from just hearing a White House employee admit fault.

No one political party has a monopoly on scandal....

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