Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
November 14, 2009

100% of Your Weekly Dose of Terrorism Panic

TIME Hasan cover Ft. Hood.jpg

This is a very bad TIME.

First of all, the word "terrorist," at this point, doesn't appeal to any thoughtful or intellectual understanding of anything. Instead, like spraying acid, it is targeted for a strict emotional response.

And then, few would consider this killing spree as an act of "domestic" terrorism — by one of our own. Instead, the emotional take-away is that Hasan is a foreigner and a one-man sleeper cell. But then, what's one more reprehensible act of scaremongering by the traditional media at the expense of the Muslim world?

And then, what is especially warped about this raccoon cover — beyond how it places Hasan's act in a strictly political, as opposed to a psychological or sociological context — is how the "psycho x-ray" effect turns what is otherwise a tragically complex story into a one-frame horror movie (sign of things to come!), making out Hasan, with that Andy Kaufman-like smile, as a bandit mutant freak.

(photo: AP)

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