On Wednesday, Rapides Parish Police Juror Steve Coco, who calls himself Cenla’s “most qualified, experienced news source,” responded to criticism that he had posted a doctored photograph of President Barack Obama smoking a cigarette by claiming that this photograph had been originally published by the National Association of Counties, the implication being that this photograph was somehow authentic and verified by a national governmental association. Juror Coco wrote:

Since blatant ignorance reigns unchecked in Cenla, here’s background information on this photo of Barack Obama (The White House Marlboro Man).

Several people continue to claim the picture is a fake. Evidently they believe it’s impossible that there’s any evidence of Obama having a cigarette in his mouth and that he could be smoking in the White House and aboard Air Force One.

This picture was published by NACO, the National Association of Counties, founded in 1935. NACO’s membership totals more than 2-thousand counties, representing over 80% of the nation’s population. NACO headquarters is on Capitol Hill, publishing a biweekly newspaper, County News, that focuses on issues and actions in Washington, D.C. and around the Country.

NACO officials meet regularly with the President at the White House. Maybe that’s where they took the picture.

If you still think the picture’s a fake, prove otherwise.

Well, here’s what the good people at the National Association of Counties have to say about Mr. Coco’s accusations. I e-mailed the President of NACo, Ms. Valerie Brown of Sonoma County, California, to alert her of Juror Coco’s accusations, and she responded (bold mine):

This is a new one for me but I’m checking into it….must say I’ve never even seen this picture.

And according to Beverly A. Schlotterbeck, the executive editor of the website for the National Association of Counties:

We never published the photo in question, nor did we ever distribute it.

Juror Coco vehemently asserts that the photograph he published is authentic. He claims that those who originally disputed his claims are a reflection of “ignorance unchecked,” and he challenges detractors to “prove otherwise.”

Well, the National Association of Counties has proven otherwise, Juror Coco.

5 thoughts

  1. “I e-mailed the President of NACo, Ms. Valerie Brown of Sonoma County, California, to alert her of Juror Coco’s accusation…” Were you a tattletale in school? Or do you just wanna stir the shitpot?

    1. A tattletale? Really?

      I know it may be difficult to believe, but honestly, I just wanted to know if Steve Coco was telling the truth.

      Apparently, you are not as interested.

      Mr. Coco lies about a national organization. He gets called out for it, and yet, somehow, I am a tattletale.

      Get real.

      Steve Coco is an elected official representing the citizens of Alexandria, and he has publicly stated his intention to run for Mayor. He lied about something relatively stupid- a doctored photo of Obama- and instead of conceding that the photograph was inauthentic, Steve Coco doubled down and attributed it to the National Association of Counties. He claimed he had nothing to do with it; NACo published it. He even challenged people to prove otherwise.

      Problem is: Mr. Coco was lying about the National Association of Counties. He was directly rebuked by the President of NACo.

      It may be a minor issue, but to me, it speaks to a major problem with Mr. Coco’s credibility, integrity, and seriousness of purpose. (Then again, I hate to be the tattletale).

  2. http://weblogs.cltv.com/news/local/chicago/2009/06/obama_still_smoking.html#more

    hmmm…. well Mr. White, heres another website with the photo in question…and if im not mistaken, isn’t Chicago his hometown?

    I dont care if he smokes or not I’m sick of the kiddy “Look what he did” crap that both you and Coco are doing. My 5 year old knows better than you to do. I’m not sure how either one of you are in the positions that you are in. For someone that is suppose to lead the public and garner respect its ashame that you all act like this. GROW UP AND MAKE A CHANGE THAT BENEFITS THE PEOPLE OF CENLA AND NOT YOURSELVES!!!

    1. Amazing job in locating the same ridiculous photo on someone else’s blog (It even has Chicago in the title!).

      I agree it is a silly thing to dispute, but here’s the point:

      NACo is an organization that represents county governments, including Police Juries.

      Juror Coco attributed an obviously doctored photograph of the President to the National Association of Counties. I found it to be a provocative allegation about a well-regarded national organization.

      I couldn’t find any proof of NACo ever publishing this image, so I shot off a quick e-mail to their President and their web administrator, both of whom have their contact information on NACo’s website. It took all of five minutes, and they responded within the next day.

  3. Well said Mr. Hmmmmm….

    I used to take each of these blogs seriously but now they are on the same level as The National Enquirer.

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