January 5, 2007

Opening Shots


(click for full size)

I believe much of the MSM, including the NYT, has a visual vendetta against Nancy Pelosi.

If others casually and regularly make such accusatory statements, I don’t.  Having studied The Times’ visual coverage carefully, every day, for years now, there’s something about Pelosi and the Democratic ascension that engenders intense condescension.

If you’ve been looking at today’s visual coverage of the Congressional change-over, the pictures have been joyful.  Ms. Pelosi, as you can see above, has been jubilant.  The New York Times has now had two chances to give the Majority Leader her due.  Their first opportunity came yesterday, in a “new Congress” preview I blogged about at Huffington.

(Because I don’t want to ruin the visual twist, I simply offer you the link.)

If yesterday’s pic was slap down number one, the shot this morning fronting The Times was simply back-stabbing.  Sure, sure, apologists can say its endearing, or even promotional, indicative of a new Congressional focus on Americans, their families and the future.  And to that, I say: you’re rationalizing.

As the political creatures that we are, the first connection here involves Nancy Pelosi associated with little children and babies and the sense of a Congressional delegation made up of the same.  As to how the gavel and Pelosi’s body language fits in, I don’t have that clear an impression.  Is she being pigeon-holed into the gender-bent role of mommy or unbaked 1st grade teacher?  On the latter element, I defer to The BAG community to focus the resonance.

This shot might be fine for page 8, or the middle of the photo gallery, but this is the paper’s defining image on the defining day of the new Congress.  These two shots are not just ludicrous, they are fighting pictures.

(Stephen Crowley/The New York Times. Washington. January 5, 2007. nyt.com)

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Michael Shaw
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