December 21, 2005

Plame Noir

Wilson Plame-Noir

(Click on Joe for slightly larger version.  Photo: David Burnett/Contact.)

As the year winds down and real news begins to quickly evaporate, this is when we are graced with commemorative MSM features dedicated to "People of the Year," "People Who Stood Out," "People Who Made a Difference," "People Who Are Gonna Be Huge" "People Who Long Dropped Out Of Sight And Finally Passed Away," People Who…. well, you get the idea.

(I think the holidays have put me in an irreverent mood.)

Over the next week and a half (with a few days off in there somewhere), I will be surveying some of the more visually compelling examples from these features.  (If you have nominees, certainly email me.)  Getting an early jump, a BnN reader, Henry, called out this photo from the latest TIME retrospective focusing on "People Who Mattered."

At this point, I really don’t know what to make of the staginess of the Wilson/Plames. 

I do know I took some heat for my visual critique of the Vanity Fair "Spy Who Loved Me" double-parking job in front of the White House.


I just found it heavy handed.  Readers, however, felt completely otherwise.  Among the feedback, I heard:

1.  Joe looks like Johnny Cash.

2.  Joe and Valerie (the political Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers) stick it to Rove with some friendly PR.

3.  Glamour can kill.

4.  Not nearly as provocative as Gavin Newsome and wife Kimberly.

5.  If Joe and Valerie didn’t get pilloried by the right for VF, it would have just been something else.

6.  So you alienate the NASCAR set — so what.

7.  If, after going after Bush, the press is going to deconstruct your life in minute detail, might as well feed ’em this.

8. Only Republican wives look like they’ve been dressed in the 1960s resale store.

9.  If Valerie is 007, what an alpha male Joe must be to be married to her!

10. What are they supposed to do, wear sackcloth and ashes?

So, once again, the couple offers us a style shot.  But this time, I’m
holding back.  I could have said I couldn’t look at Sad Face Joe
without thinking the dramatized injury  makes questionable the real
injury.  I could have suggested that Valerie (from The Land Of
Migraines And Lost Slippers) is primed for a stage career.  But no, I’m
not going there.  It’s just giving more aid and encouragement to the
Michelle Malkins of the world.

I’m just going to leave you with the one line my reader, Henry, sent me.  He wrote:

40’s or 50’s film noir? Are those pajamas? Is her distress because of Rove or the twins?

(image 1: David Burnett/Contact.  December 18, 2005. People Who Mattered. image 2: Jonas Karlsson. Photo dated November 8, 2004.  Publication date: January 2004. Vanity Fair.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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