Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
October 4, 2009

Rio Ugly: Targeting the First Lady

Obama Impersonator Rio.jpg

Apparently, it only took one day for the Olympic “fail” meme to rock the wingnut world.

I wanted to note this photo Drudge used Saturday with the headline “Blame the Committee” (linking to a NYT story finding fault with the American IOC.) It’s one thing for the Brazilians to have their fun — the picture taken of an Obama impersonator and a cardboard cut-out of Michelle O. in Rio upon the announcement of the Olympics selection. In Drudge’s hands, however, as paired with the right wing barrage, there are a couples elements at play. Foremost is the right wing taking aim at Michelle Obama (with Michelle Malkin leading the charge – 1, 2, etc.) to make her especially look like a fool.

As it’s setting up, I expect this will open the floodgates to a lot more vociferous attacks on the First Lady.

The other element of Drudge’s interest, I believe, are the two black security guys. Combined with and framing the “first couple,” these gentlemen — as highlighted by the haters — can’t help but emphasize the Obama’s race. Given the “enforcer cool,” the photo also resonates with the rising digs at “shady” Chicago.

Malkin, by the way, is working overtime to tie the two things together — a corrupt Chicago with Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett’s civic history there (in what she terms various local “rackets”) — to set up Michelle as the right’s new cardboard dummy.

(revised 1pm PST)

(image: Sergio Moraes/Reuters. caption: An impersonator of U.S. President Barack Obama poses next to a cardboard cutout image of first lady Michelle Obama after Rio de Janeiro won the bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro October 2, 2009)

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