Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 10, 2008

Re-Runs At The White House – Updated

Bush-Malik

White House photo by Eric Draper. Children's Holiday Reception and Performance

Besides illustrating how the White House runs mostly on auto-pilot, continuously looping through the same script, these images depict, once again, the kind of racial patronization that characterizes Bush administration photo-ops.

The first photo, if you remember The BAG’s post from last December, shows Dubya patting seven-year-old Malik Lawson like a pet during the White House children’s holiday reception. As previously mentioned, Malik’s mother, Air Force Sgt. Sherry Martins, was on duty in Iraq at the time.

What you have following is this year’s version of the same performance, taken Monday. In this case, the photo the White House chooses to lead with in its photo gallery is 43 reaching out to another brown-faced child. (Notice also the careful ethnic mix in the picture).

You would think, with the Obama’s moving in, the Bush’s would acquire a least some self-consciousness. How many days left till the inauguration?

Update 5:21 pm PST: I probably should have gone with this photo from Reuters in the first place (rather than the in-house shot)….

U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush gather with the children of military families as they attend a children's holiday reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington December 8, 2008.  REUTERS/Jason Reed   (UNITED STATES)

To gauge how much the White House structures these photo ops to emphasize black children, by the way, here is the Daylife page with all the White House photos from December 8th. Given the direction of the discussion thread based on the initial two images, I’m interested in your further thoughts.

(Also, just as last year, this reception was for children of military families. Whether any or all of the children’s parent’s are present as opposed to overseas, I’m not sure.)

(If you’re able, please consider contributing a few dollars to BNN’s end-of-the-year funds drive. Beyond operating expenses, it will allow us to keep and bring more contributing photographers on board and cover more events like the Democratic Convention. — Thanks and best, Michael.)

(image 1: Ron Edmonds/AP. Dec. 3, 2007. Washington. image 2: White House photo by Eric Draper. image 3: Jason Reed: Reuters)

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