Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
September 5, 2008

RNC Packaging


With the traditional media largely swallowing the visual propaganda of the Republican Convention, this shot by Shannon Stapleton does an elegant job of calling it out.

Either side of this image would have been compelling enough.  In the left half, you see Sarah Palin as a glossy construction appearing larger-than-life and made-for-the-screen.  On the right side, you have the juxtaposition of the veteran delegate holding up the peace sign in the name of John McCain.  With McCain’s acceptance speech, as well as many of the fourth night RNC speeches and videos notable for fixating on fear and militarism, the peace sign reflecting the hypocrisy.  Of course, the contradiction is pointed at Palin too, as a new star being packaged as wholesome and maternal when in fact, she has proved almost singularly combative and warlike.

(image: Shannon Stapleton/AP. St. Paul, Minnesota September 4, 2008)

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