April 25, 2007

The NYT's Edwards Clip Job


Adam Nagourney took two separate cuts with basically the same material. 

Last Friday, there wasIn the Beverly Hills Style: Candidate’s $400 Coiffure” and this Monday, it came repackaged as “The Birth of the ‘Breck Girl.’  Maureen Dowd took her shot on Sunday.  (“Running With Scissors” is posted on the Edwards blog — preceded by a campaign rebuttal.)  And not be left out, Howard Kurtz added his own lather yesterday with “Bad Hair Day?

So, after a brief sympathy break, the NYT John Edwards vendetta is back — and it’s more virulent than ever.  What I thought was especially cheap, however, was how the Times worked this photo of Chris Dodd into Monday’s hit piece, affixing a deceptive caption that seems to actually enlist Dodd in the hate-mongering.

The NYT caption reads:

Senator Christopher Dodd, a Democratic presidential hopeful, joked with barber Francis “Spike” Smith on Friday at Dude’s Barber Shop in Manchester, N.H. The haircut cost Mr. Dodd $12.

Lacking other context — except the slanderous article — the suggestion is that Chris and Spike are having a good laugh over what (or who) else?  Must be Edwards, right?

Well, the caption, accompanying the shot on YahooNews, explains that Dodd and barber Francis ‘Spike’ Smith of Dude’s Barber Shop in Manchester, N.H. are mixing it up about baseball.  Spike is a Yankees fan and Dodd likes the Red Sox.

On Looking Further (12:05 pm EST):

The initial comments, such as Johanna’s at the top of the thread, reveal a much deeper assault here.

In juxtaposing the Edwards haircut story with this picture (at “Dude’s,” no less!)  — one loaded with “cut and dry” 1950-ish stereotypes about what a manly man’s barber shop experience is like — I wonder what makes this editorial comparison by The Times any different — in visual terms –from Ann Coulter calling Edwards a faggot?

(image: Jim Cole/AP. Manchester, N.H. April 20, 2007. via YahooNews)

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Michael Shaw
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