The Washington Times - February 25, 2013, 03:20PM

A sizable audience was plenty rattled When first lady Michelle Obama stepped forward in a glittering silver dress for the grand finale of the Academy Awards. Conservatives, not to mention other critics, questioned her insider status immediately via social media and pondered her politically tinged speech. They wondered why she was surrounded by a supporting cast of active duty military personnel in full dress uniforms.

“As if Hanoi Jane weren’t fuel enough. Oh my God - the Academy actually fans the fire by drafting first lady Michelle Obama to help present Best Picture from presumably the White House? So unnecessary and inappropriate to inject so much politics into the Oscars yet again,” said media and entertainment blogger Nikki Finke, a Hollywood confidante of the first order.

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An online poll from Media Bistro, an insider site for Washington-based news media, revealed that 63 percent of the respondents felt Mrs. Obama’s appearance was “entirely inappropriate.”

Others went a step further.

“Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency Photoshopped pictures of Michelle Obama at the Oscars to conform to Iranian restrictions on images of the female body in the media,” reports the Daily Guardian.

“Fars, which is affiliated to the Islamic republic’s elite Revolutionary Guards, redesigned the US first lady’s dress so that it covered her chest and shoulders in a picture showing her announcing that Argo had won best picture, via a video link from the White House,” the news organization said. “Rules dictate that Iranian women shown on Iran’s state television should have a hijab that covers their hair, arms and legs.”

The Guardian added, “Fars was also infuriated by the Academy’s decision to honor Argo, which it described as an ‘anti-Iranian’ film produced by the ‘Zionist’ company Warner Bros - an objection echoed by many other state agencies.”