October 21, 2004

Bush Unplugged

The main question underlying my ongoing critique of the NYTimes’ political photo coverage is, Why does Kerry keep coming off worse than Bush?

One angle to consider (pardon the pun) is that practical factors play a significant part. For example, one of my visitors last week suggested that the Bush campaign is so highly managed, it’s really not possible to come up with unguarded shots. I think the reasons are probably more complex, but I don’t dispute it’s harder to truly capture Bush. (After all, isn’t that why the debates were so unique?)


If Bush is that “locked down,” then the NYTimes went the extra mile yesterday. Besides redeeming themselves with a more respectful shot of Kerry, they actually caught Bush with the curtain pulled back.


In this picture, a member of Bush’s goon squad is having to pry a supporters hand off the President’s arm. What interests me is how the robo-Bush keeps going (or posing), business as usual. That’s probably because of his absolute, ever-present concern to maintain appearances from the “approved” site lines.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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