March 12, 2006



For all those interested in the Democratic presidential race for ’08, you can all go home now.

Besides the clown shot of former Virginia Governor Mark Warner on the cover of the NYT Mag, there are two other photos of him inside the lead article (The Fallback – link) along with a seven image thumbnail sequence.  (All the inside pics, by the way, were taken by master photojournalist, David Burnett).

The first inside shot shows Warner speaking against a white curtained background as a blanked out silhouette.  The second inside shot shows Warner in a New Hampshire yogurt factory, but all we see of him is his back.  The seven image sequence features smallish pics of Warner in a hotel room practicing a speech.  The sense, reinforced by the article, illustrates that Warner is not sure of what he wants to say.

If you’re looking for some insight into the Democratic presidential horse race, Matt Bai’s article is as encouraging as a coroners report.  As best I understand, it informs us that:

a.) HIllary is a lock.

b.) If Hillary is not a complete lock, she’ll end up with one challenger who will need a near-perfect streak of luck to reasonably compete.

c.) It’s possible Hillary could be challenged by someone backed by the liberal net/blogosphere.

d.) Warner could be that challenger, and has hired some blogospheric talent to make that happen.

e.) Only problem is, Warner is far too conservative for the liberal blogosphere.

f.)  Despite that, Warner is probably still the best bet to challenge Hillary.

g.) But, maybe not.

Note to the NYT:  Thanks for acknowledging the liberal net.  The reason why we exist, however, is because of dumb articles like this implying that: the party power brokers can ultimately pick any nominee they want; the guy (or girl) with the most money always wins; and MSM campaign coverage has been reduced to the substance of a Miss America pageant.  (By the way, I loved the explanation why Bill Richardson is going nowhere:  Besides being too aggressive, he pokes his female lieutenant governor at official functions.)

I find this cover photo troubling.  Who wants to be introduced to the presidential race simply as a stalking horse?  And, speaking of horses, what kind of lens produced this freakish horsey-faced assault on the reader by Warner’s teeth and nose?  If the NYT really is left-leaning, why a caricature in an instance that calls for portraiture?  The party has enough trouble without encountering supposedly friendly media visually transforming it’s ’08 hopefuls into used car salesmen.

(Alexei Hay for The New York Times. March 12, 2006. NYT Magazine. Cover.)

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Michael Shaw
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