Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
October 19, 2008

Blue State, Red State, Black State, White State

Obama Nyt Mag White Guys

I’m sure you recall how the media framed the 2004 election in terms of “red state” versus “blue state” and also how, after the election, the consensus was that this analogy was way overblown.

This latest NYT Mag cover, I believe, captures the 2008 version of the fallacy.  When this election is all said and done, I expect a major conclusion will be that America isn’t anywhere as racially polarized as the media made it out to be.

How does the cover — otherwise, lighting up our racial differences — tip its hand?

Well, if you consider what really stands between Obama and the “White Guy” and you look past the glare, you’ll see they are primarily separated by four things — a still photographer, a video camera man with that blinding spot, a wall-mounted television set.

(cover story: Working for the Working-Class Vote)

(Samantha Appleton/NOOR Images.  May 2008.  North Liberty, Indiana)

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