With all the serious news dragging everyone down this week, we clearly need something from the “What the heck?” column and this should fill the bill. The White House has launched an investigation into something involving the First Family, specifically the President’s daughter Malia. But I’m not exactly sure what the threat level is here.

The White House is reportedly probing how a photo, potentially featuring President Obama’s daughter Malia, surfaced on the Instagram page of a rap group.

The photo appears to be 16-year-old Malia Obama sporting a white shirt with the logo of Pro Era in green, red and black lettering. A representative for rapper Joey Bada$$ told Gawker that the New York-based rap collective received the photo from a “mutual friend.”

I’m not going to post the photo here (because what the children of politicians get up to is their own business) but you can see it at the Fox link above. As near as I can gather, they are tying to figure out how the photo showed up on the Instagram page of Pro Era. Right up front I’ll confess that I had a hard time researching this story at all because initially I thought it had something to do with the Equal Rights Amendment. But as it turns out, Pro Era is a musical group fronted by someone named “Joey Bada$$” and they sell promotional shirts in addition to their music.

There wasn’t a ton of information available on Mr. Bada$$ aside from some music videos and the occasional news story of him being arrested in St. Louis and punching out a security guard in Australia.

Pro Era was apparently posting the picture of Obama’s daughter to help promote their products, but nobody is even sure if this is actually a real picture. I can’t find one of her at sixteen in a quick search, and kids change quickly as they grow, so it’s hard to say. Also, there’s the possibility that any photo can be retouched with modern software. But if it actually is a legitimate Facebook photo, it seems that she posted it herself, no? It’s not like somebody kidnapped her and took the picture from their hideout. And is it so unreasonable to think that she might enjoy that group’s music and have one of their shirts?

I suppose the real question here is, what is the perceived threat that has everyone so worked up? I suppose there might be some sort of copyright question involved, but then again the group wasn’t running an ad campaign. They put it on their social media page with a “shoutout” to the First Family. And Mr. Bada$$ (I’ll never get used to typing that) has already commented.

joey-malia-tweet-allhiphop1

I’ll warn you ahead of time that if you follow that link it may require some sorting out. There were entire bits there where I couldn’t make heads or tails of the words. (And I ostensibly read things for a living.) So, back to the paragraph at the top of the page… What the heck?