March 31, 2010

Going to War Over Oil

Obama Green Hornet

(photo: Luke Sharrett/The New York Times. caption: President Obama inspected a new biofuel F-18 “Green Hornet” after delivering a speech on energy security at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington. Mr. Obama proposed to open vast expanses of American coastlines to oil and natural gas drilling in his remarks.)

First thing you need to know is that different versions of this scene, by different photographers, were all over the media yesterday. Second, most captions dutifully reflected the Administration’s mixed metaphor, Obama announcing his off-shore drilling proposal against this militaristic backdrop in the name of America’s “energy security.”

Is America so sold on endless war that a terrifying piece of military hardware (and/or a humongous flag) becomes the automatic choice to sell just about anything? And, If Obama is going to use a fighter plane to sell off-short drilling, isn’t the visual media just as entitled to call him out on it by “pointing the prop” back at him?

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus