Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
April 21, 2010

McCain Fighting His Background

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Even if McCain isn’t going down this election, the visual media is not letting him off easy. The top image was something of a no-brainer after GOP Senators effectively invited this “bovine porcine analogy” by setting up a photo-op drawing attention to pork barreling.

We’ve talked a lot about “halo shots” here (which, yes, gives me the opportunity to plug and link to our new archive utility), but we’ve talked less about the “shadow shot.”  As compared to the top picture, this bottom one has a more substantive editorial point.  Given McCain’s election challenge from the far right and his adoption of a more punitive stance on immigration, we see Mac — an  Arizonian in name only — framed as channeling his inner cowboy.

caption 1: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), walks into a news conference on April 14, 2010 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to release the annual ‘2010 Congressional Pig Book’, which is a report on pork barrel spending in the federal budget. caption 2: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) listens to Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever speak about the border situation in Arizona, on April 19, 2010 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to highlight a 10-point plan to better secure the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.

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