Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 12, 2005

How The Lincoln Group Likes To Shades Things

Lincoln1-1

Lincoln2-1

If you’re going to play on the fear of terrorism, is red your color?  (Now let’s see, there’s blood red, Commie red, burning red, infrared….)

As a propaganda vehicle for the Pentagon, The Lincoln Group was allegedly responsible for planting 1,000 pro-Iraq War stories in the Arab media world wide, as well as issuing payments to newspapers to run similar stories without a byline.  In his NYT column yesterday, Frank Rich’s stated that Lincoln took in an estimated $100 million in government contracts carrying out these and other special marketing and propaganda projects for the government.

While The Lincoln Group maintains a low profile, BAGreader Jeff Kline took a particular interest in the group’s website.  The site employs a series of rotating images which, although somewhat abstract, lend a strange aura to the business and its world view.  The visuals are interesting, while both overtly and subliminally bizarre.

I chose out the graphics above, and Jeff put together an on-line collage of the entire set.  As always, I would be fascinated to know how the BAG community evaluates the Lincoln site, and reads the images either individually, or as a group.

Jeff offers the following impressions:

The pictures are all clearly modified, the technique of choice seems to be tinting.  The color red is overwhelming.  It’s an emotional color.  In this case, it seems the intent is to evoke fear.  The pictures have a dreamlike quality to them.  Some seem just odd (like the chopsticks for sale) while others are frenzied and nightmarish (like the two pictures showing public celebrations).

The pictures in the top row [of the montage] have a throwback feel to them. The top left picture could be drawn directly from red-scare propaganda of the ’50s and ’60s. In the public chess picture, the queen is highlighted — she’s the most powerful piece on the board — and her color is the most intense in the picture.  The people, on the other hand, are shades of grey.  Power is the focus.  Real people are inconsequential.

Many of the other pictures are unfamiliar to American eyes. The new and unknown can be frightening.



What’s your take?

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