Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
September 3, 2007

Here's Looking At You Looking Back, Kid

Condi-Looking-Back

Many times, The BAG has focused on photos and captions that almost completely contradict the body of an accompanying article.  Saturday’s NYT Condi update is the latest example.  The article, which mostly lays out the case for Rice’s distinction as America’s worst-ever Secretary of State, emphasizes repeatedly that Condi — as is consistent with Dubya and the rest of the cabal — is someone who does not reflect.

There is this snip:

Ms. Rice is rarely, if ever, self-reflective. But in an interview with The New York Times this month, she acknowledged, ever so obliquely, that her first four years working for the Bush administration were not her best.

And this:

She was sitting in the anteroom of her office on the State Department’s seventh floor, in the chair where she usually sits for news media interviews, occasionally falling back on her usual talking points, except this time, those talking points were interspersed with grumbling that she was being asked for personal reflection, something she does not like to do, preferring instead to work through times of personal turmoil on the piano, with Brahms.

Which was followed by this:

In fact, her friends say that she rarely questions whether she is right or wrong, instead choosing to believe in a particular truth with absolute certainty until she doesn’t believe it anymore, at which point she moves on. “Now you’ve got me trying to psycho-analyze myself,” she complained.



So the question is, where did this picture come from showing a happy-go-lucky Condi looking back?  And what about that caption it’s married to: “While Condoleezza Rice has her eye on a major achievement in the time she has left in office, she is also taking time to reflect.”

Maybe, in the waning days of summer, it is too much too ask for more more consistency.  Either way, it is just one more example of the media coddling the Administration.  More specifically, what we get pictorially — as a long overdue update — is  Condi more as charismatic celebrity than that member of the Administration most responsible for, but somehow unable to look over, into or certainly back at U.S. foreign policy.



(image: Molly Riley/Reuters.  published September 1, 2007.  nytimes.com)

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