Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
February 4, 2010

Fun and Games at the National Prayer Breakfast

Sanford Nat Prayer Breakfast.jpg

I had a great time this morning looking at these pictures and comparing the radically different spin….

Picture 1 – Visual Media perspective: The hypocrisy of the philandering, but Christian Conservative Governor Sanford is called out, for exaggerated effect, by framing him next to camera-loving young babe, as if the Gov had her stashed behind his back.

Picture 1 – White House perspective: The presence of one more hypocritical right-winger models contrasts well with a President preaching about political values and accountability. Also, once the sinners have been publicly humiliated, they are much easier to keep in line.

Tebow Mullen.jpg

Picture 2Visual Media perspective: In a wonderfully funny play on the culture wars, photographers capture proselytizing football star Tebow next to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”-buster Mullen looking in opposite directions, as if the two don’t see eye (scripture) to eye.

Picture 2White House perspective: Call it a brilliant seating arrangement to juxtapose these two public figures on the heels of Mullen’s DODT announcement yesterday and Tebow’s controversial role in a pro-life Superbowl commercial this weekend. It’s a combo which models both Obama’s passion and his political tactic — in high gear since the SOTU — to call out political extremist, intransigents, and especially, the nay-saying right, by presenting one picture after another to the American people that rhetorically drives home the question: why can’t we/they just get along?

(photo 1: Jason Reed/Reuters. South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (C) is pictured in the audience as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington February 4, 2010. Photo 2: Martinez Monsivais/AP. caption: Former Florida Gators quarterback and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, left, sits with Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010)

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