March 10, 2008

Guilt By (Media) Association

Rezko-Obama-PoliticoThe trial has attracted national attention because of Mr. Rezko’s relationship with Senator Barack Obama, who has not been accused of wrongdoing.

Although Mr. Obama is expected to have just a
tangential role in the trial, his name came up in opening statements, as Mr. Duffy listed politicians whom Mr. Rezko had supported. The lawyer said.

Government filings have indicated that a $10,000 donation from an associate of Mr. Rezko to Mr. Obama’s Senate campaign in 2004
might have come from the money that Mr. Rezko is accused of extorting. There has been no suggestion that Mr. Obama knew anything about the source.

Snips from: Democratic Fund-Raiser’s Trial Starts in Illinois, NYT, March 7, 2008.

Last Wednesday, Glen Greenwald did a nice piece explaining the inclination of the media, not to mention the right wing, to associate Obama to Tony Rezko and his legal problems, although none has been demonstrated.  Citing the long-standing investigation aimed at the Clintons, Glen states that: ” ‘Rezko’ is the Whitewater of the Obama campaign.”

What I was particularly interested in, however, was Greenwald’s partial screen grab of a same-day Politico article.  The Politico piece whines about the lack of attention to the Rezko trial, and the potential Obama connection.  Most notable, for BAG purposes, however, is the accompanying image.  The caption reads:

Antoin ‘Tony’ Rezko has pleaded not guilty to charges he solicited campaign cash, including $10,000 for Obama’s 2004 Senate campaign, and bribes in exchange for help doing business with the state of Illinois.

The shot of a smiling Rezko, beaming over Obama’s attention, is distinctive if only because, as Greenwald describes:

Rezko himself has a sinister-sounding, villain-like last name and is of Syrian origin, which, for multiple reasons, helps build the shallow media drama.

The close-up on the clasp suggests an intimate, personal relationship while the applause, during what looks like a banquet, appears to specifically honor the relationship between the two men.  It’s no surprise the image, credited only as “a Politico photo,” shoots Obama from/in the back.  All the better to suggest that Barack would rather block or shield his behavior from public view.

Obama’s Rezko ties escape national radar (Politico)

The “Rezko” game (Salon/Glen Greenwald)

(image: unattributed.  undated.  not located.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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