Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
September 6, 2008

There's Projection And There's Projection


You’ve probably already seen the picture of McCain’s entrance for his RNC acceptance speech.  What it illustrates extremely well is how the Republican’s, in their blunt yet effective playbook, make use of projection.  No, I’m not talking about special lighting or video effects, I’m referring to the psychological term.  In other words, hammer your opponent to death over something that you exercise over and over yourself. 

In this case, we’re talking about the “celebrity” meme.  Of course, Team Obama made their own gesture to call out the double standard with their “Embrace” video, but a fundamental weakness of the Dems is that they don’t do repetition — at least not the way stampeding elephants do. 

I can’t be positive, but I think it McCain’s entrance was specifically designed to play off of his latest celebrity attack on Obama, echoing the dramatic final evening in Denver under the night sky.  (That’s not to say, however, that you see plenty of allusions of your own.)

(image: Damon Winter/NYT.  Minneapolis.  September 3, 2008)

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