During inauguration, 'modern technology' of fast photos wows politicians

Just wait until Congress discovers the existence of Polaroids.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

"Modern technology" brought the Bidens this image of the swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, 2021.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Congress has occasionally been accused of being out of touch with technology, and comments about today's fast photo processing made by a couple of congressional leaders on Wednesday won't help that perception.

The inaugural ceremonies involved quite a few presentations of commemorative gifts, including a set of custom vases and two freshly printed and framed photographs of the swearing-in events for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

California Representative Kevin McCarthy was the first of the two photo presenters, commenting "Modern technology, right?" when the Bidens approached for a closer look. 

That theme of wonder at technological advancements continued during the formal speech. "With modern technology, just a few minutes ago was captured in these pictures. History in the making for all the world to see," McCarthy said. 

Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer handled the rest of the bipartisan gift-giving exercise, calling the image of Biden's ceremony "a testament to technology." 

Hoyer wasn't wrong in his assessment, but fast photo processing is fairly old fashioned as far as technology goes. "LOL, McCarthy and Hoyer give Biden and Harris instaphotos of the inauguration, like they've just gotten off the hot new roller coaster at Six Flags," joked Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis on Twitter.

One-hour photo processing boomed across the US starting in the 1980s and was a popular option for amusement park visitors who wanted to commemorate screaming their heads off on rides. 

If anything, the members of Congress should have been impressed by the snappy framing job. 

Inauguration Day of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in pictures

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