July 24, 2008

The Trip: Let's Get Small


Rather minimizing.

That is the last word, both visually and editorially, from the NYT on Obama’s happening in Berlin.

Reprising Hillary Clinton’s “tastes great, less filling” attack narrative, the news analysis headlined “Obama, Vague on Issues, Pleases Crowds in Europe” rolls out a litany of quotes from Europeans critical of Obama, matched by a laundry list of subjects Obama’s Tiergarten speech seemingly failed to tackle more clearly, from Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, and Afghanistan all the way to chlorinated chickens.

If these mass rallies have their time and place, like the one yesterday — the next one slated for the concluding night of the Democratic Convention — one can also see why the Obama campaign decided, back in Ohio, to dramatically curtail them.  It’s a sad commentary on the traditional media, however, to equate a joyful and near-spontaneous rallying of the masses with the demonstration of superficiality.

Update: 12:29 AM PST:  Just got an email about a very specific peculiarity that puts a further spin on this shot. Can you figure it out?  The answer is at the top of the thread…

(image: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press. Berlin. July 24, 2008)

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Michael Shaw
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