Professor Althouse has become persuaded that the Air Farce One photos over Manhattan must needs have had ulterior motives, based on the comments of one of her readers:
It’s not easy to take pictures when you’re steering a fighter with your knees.
This speaks to the value of sticking to what you know. The F-16 has a sidestick controller. It’d be a pretty magical guy who could steer one of those with his knees. And yes, even those of us with center-mounted sticks try it anyway. Because we’re cool like that.
The picture shows classic canopy ghosting, which happens when a cameraman doesn’t place the lens up against the Plexiglas, and it’s rare to find the experienced cameraman with many hours in the trunk of an F-16.
One should never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.