June 16, 2011
I find this TwitPic snapped and posted by CBS White House Correspondent Mark Knoller during the Congressional picnic at the White House to be both amazing and infuriating at the same time. Here’s why:
1. This is a brilliant example of the disconnect between D.C. and the American people, reflecting the club atmosphere separating politicians and big media from the folks at home. (This photo, in contrast, is representative of the John Boehner picnic bologna the newswires shipped off for public consumption.)
2. If we already know Washington is a lot more like Hollywood than real life, this photo is a profoundly rare everyday visual example of it, helping us to actually see with our own eyes how little correlation there is between personality, behavior and the communications and scenes we’re fed a daily diet of.
3. One effect of the Weiner affair is that DC, if it wasn’t already, is riddled with social media-, and Twitter-envy. Knoller, in posting this photo, obviously wants to have it both ways. So while holding tight to his membership in the club, Knoller — as part of a righteous, if hypocritical collusion between politicos and the media that drove Weiner to resign — defies the club in posting a “gotcha” picture in order to boost his own social networking status with some “bad boy” cred.
4. Regarding Boehner, specifically, the obvious message here is to think twice about what’s on the lips of the Speaker. The other takeaway is to consider that what’s coming from John and the political establishment (given the budget dance, as the drama of the day) is a sanctimonious act.
(photo: Mark Knoller/TwitPics. linked photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images caption: Speaker of the House John Boehner (L) speaks with a young boy as members of Congress and their families attend the Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, June 15, 2011, hosted by US President Barack Obama.)
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