Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
April 2, 2007

Since November (#2): All Surface

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It’s one thing if your desk lacks a hint of work; it’s another thing to flaunt it.

I’ve been meaning to blog about this, literally, for years now.  This White House shot from December 19th provides the perfect opportunity.

Given the Administration’s preoccupation with image, you would think they would at least make it look like Bush did some paperwork.  Instead, the always-clean Oval Office work desk is the perfect metaphor for Bush’s lack of introspection or review.

For a visual tour, let’s start off with the photo gallery from the 19th, including the shot above, and this pic — demonstrating how the desk could potentially double as Bush’s helipad.  The photo op shows Bush signing two different bills, on in Laura’s presence, and the other alone.  The sheer banality of these images — during the stretch of time Bush was pretending to be reviewing his military strategy while the Administration cooked up "the surge" — is an insult to us all.

And, just for historical perspective, there is this shot of Bush back in September 2003, in which he shows the "Resolution" desk to the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.  Then, there is also this one, in April of that year, in a get-together with a group of Presidents from Central America. 

Here is the true snapshot of a President who exists purely on ceremony.

This eight day series, titled "Since November," looks at images that have caught The BAG’s
attention over the past four months. Many are inspired by the change in
political landscape following the Democratic Congressional victory
in November. In this stretch, I am taking some time off, leaving the
site — and the conversation — in your hands.

(image: Eric Draper/White House.  Dec. 19, 2006.  whitehouse.gov. caption: President George W. Bush signs S. 3678, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, in the Oval Office.)

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