Documenting his brown-nosing trip down to Liberty U., the shot that got the most play this weekend was this one, with Johnny Mac turning deferentially to the aging, but still central Falwell.
For all McCain’s trouble, he didn’t seem to come away with much — not visually, at least. If anything, he looked pasty and self-conscious, as if all too mindful of this hollow gesture. (And the images look weaker still in comparison to this dramatic shot of Rudi during his Southern fundie serenade in Memphis last March. At least, Mr. Mayor looked like he was having fun.)
It’s not often The BAG laughs out loud at a newswire shot. Certainly photographer Don Petersen had to have been imbued with the irony of this. I mean, it’s all there, right? We see little Johnny — so much smaller for having come. Then, there is the light from above. Obviously, there is a reference to the Almightly. Who knows why there are two beams, though — maybe one to cover each half of the flip-flop? Those flower arrangements look absolutely funereal, indicative of the passing of the Straight Talk Express. … And then, the hood and gown make McCain look like the choir boy he still fancies himself to be.
(caption: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers the commencement address to the graduating class of Liberty University. image: Don Petersen/A.P. Lynchburg, Va., Saturday, May 13, 2006. Via YahooNews)