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About a year and a half ago, one of Elise Foley’s colleagues at The Huffington Post’s Washington bureau went searching for a photo of Louie Gohmert, the Republican congressman from Texas.

Gohmert is not a member of Congressional leadership or the head of a major committee—some on the Hill might consider him a back-bencher—but his frequently outlandish comments have made him a favorite punching bag of the progressive media.

Then, just over a month ago, Gohmert made news for getting into a verbal confrontation with a police officer over a parking ticket.

made it their top story, and for the first half of the day, visitors to the website were greeted by a giant version of the image.

Friends and colleagues were emailing, tweeting, texting and chatting her about it.

A reader photoshopped her face getting bigger and bigger and ending on the word “SOON,” a homage to the Internet meme that depicts animals lurking in the background of photos as devious and plotting.

Finally, she posted the photo on her Facebook page. Your typical “photobomb” is a photograph that has been spoiled by an unexpected intruder: an exhibitionist, for instance, or Michael Cera, or a stingray.

In Washington, the photobomb is shaped by two axioms of the city’s political culture: 1) We are the heart of an obsessive, up-to-the-nanosecond news culture; and 2) that culture is dominated mostly by a generation of i Phone addicted narcissists, accustomed to self-documenting and publishing every photo and banal thought to the Internet.

It’s easy to understand why the Washington photobomb is both a source of pride and embarrassment.

On the Hill, where photos are likely to be taken in the midst of a frenzy of reporters and staff chasing a fleeing lawmaker, there is a very high likeliness that you will be caught looking like an asshole.

reporter Jake Sherman here, beside House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

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