Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
August 27, 2008

Celeb Attack On A Monumental Scale

Mmc Dncstage T600

by Al Shaw

The right wing smear machine has already kicked into high gear as the first pictures of Obama’s stage at Invesco field have leaked out. Of course, following the celeb meme foisted on us by McCain and his surrogates, Obama is being slammed for the stage layout–a half ring of roman columns reminiscent of St. Peters.

A number of things are going on here. It has already been pointed out that Bush’s nomination stage in 2004 featured Roman columns also, and that, of course, it is a common theme in Washington and presidential campaigns (just look at the monuments and government buildings). But at this point, that shouldn’t matter. The Obama campaign needs to realize that, visually and metaphorically, they aren’t on an even playing field, and they need to compensate for that.

I’m guessing that the stage layout was planned far in advance– way before the Britney/Paris ad came out (which also, by the way, ran footage of Obama in front of the victory column.)  But at that point, the conventional wisdom was that speaking to a crowd of hundreds of thousands was a good thing.

Update: My guess was wrong: they actually didn’t get it at all:

Planners are not only hoping it is presidential, they say they want
it to project an image of openness and accessibility to "regular
people" – tenets of Obama’s message.

Update 2: Some are saying that Obama is using the backdrop to recreate Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial for its 45th anniversary.

Update 3: Official word is that the inspiration for the Invesco stage was Kennedy’s 1960 speech at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 

 

(image: Matt McClain/Rocky Mountain News)

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