March 5, 2008


“I am a little surprised that all the complaining about the refs has actually worked as well as it has for them,” [Obama] said, using a sports allusion to the news media as referees. “This whole spin of how the press has just been so tough on them and not tough on us — I didn’t expect that you guys would bite on that.”  — March 4, 2008 (The Caucus)


Obama-Hillary-1  Obama-Hillary-2




What’s this about referees?

Politics is a slimy, nasty, disgusting, bare knuckled and visual business.  If he’s as savvy as the last pic is not, Obama will realize that he can’t let tainted, tinted, timid, trade two-stepping twerp imagery swirl around the media sphere without offering effective counter-imagery, as well as strong, smart and vivid arguments which catalyze the press to discount framing like this.


(edited for clarity: 10:52 am PST – image details and notes after the jump)


image 1:

from: As Developer Heads to Trial, Questions Linger Over a Deal With Obama (NYT)

(image: Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press.  2006.  Chicago.

images 2 & 3:

A reader directed my
attention today to what could only be called an intense anti-Hillary
screed at dKos.  The thrust of the post was two-fold.  It charged that
Clinton’s latest ad, titled "
misrepresented the status and characterization of Obama’s foreign
relations subcommittee on Afghanistan.  More toxic, though, was the
charge that the ad depicts Obama as darker than he is.

The level of partisan anger in the post
is so high, I was inclined to dismiss the whole thing altogether.  I
also think there are many production issues at play, both video and
internet-wise, which I’m not an expert on, but have to think could
account for a good bit of the contrast.  There are also differences in
scale, as well as various post-production elements involved, including
the circular filter applied over the Afganistan video to give it a more
conspiratorial feel.

In general, though, I was curious enough about the charge to do my own screen grabs from both YouTube videos, the first one from the Ohio debate and the second from the spot in the "True" ad that was taken from the debate footage — the latter, by the way, not necessarily derived from the same source as the former.  Strictly comparing the YouTube material, the difference in shade is pretty extreme.

Hillary’s ad: debate footage doctored to make Obama blacker (Troutnut – dKos)

Why is Obama’s skin blacker than normal in Hillary’s new attack ad? (AmericaBlog)

YouTube debate video – (Clinton vs Obama Ohio Debate part.5 /4:45 mark)

YouTube Hillary Clinton "True" ad (Obama and Afghanistan subcommittee ad -18 second mark)

(hat tip: John H. screen grab 1: Clinton
vs Obama Ohio Debate part.5 /4:45 mark.  MSNBC via YouTube.  2:
Clinton "True" ad. 18 second mark. via YouTube)

image 4:

from: Hillary Clinton "Red Phone" ad (You Tube)

quote from: News Coverage Changes, and So Does Tone of the Campaign (Seelye/NYT)

image 5:

spooky, shadowy figures crowding defensive-looking Obama in front of American flag illustrating: Memo Gives Canada’s Account of Obama Campaign’s Meeting on Nafta (3/4/08 – NYT)

(image: Damon Winter/The New York Times. March 3, 2008.  San Antonio.

image 6:

(NBC/Saturday Night Live)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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