November 29, 2010

World Media Sinks to TMZ Level over Wiki-leaked Diplo-Chatter

It seems the flood of unvarnished diplo-chatter revealed by the latest Wikileaks leak has provided media, especially visual media, a field day to dish dirt on world leaders rather than really dig for photos that cast a clearer light on all the new information.

Above, we see the the main culprit, the Der Spiegel cover which reduces the tens of thousands of documents down to a “Hall of Shame” version of “Hollywood Squares.”  (I’m just finishing a paper to be presented on Friday at the “On The Image” conference at UCLA, and one of my points outlines how visual media tends to emphasize a political figure’s public face or persona more than his or her true personality.)

Clearly, the Der Spiegel cover looks to make up the difference … with a vengeance.

Other highlights? Given how the cables reveal an enormous hate-on for Iran and Ahmadinejad, especially from Middle Eastern capitals, the Spiegel’s slideshow goes with Ahmadinjah = Hitler.

And then (also from Spiegel), considering the close vibe between possible business partners Vlad and Silvio (and Putin’s gesture show how Russia “wrote the book” on SB – see caption), does it seem they’re being set up as some kind of gay couple?

(photo 1: AFP PHOTO/ISNA/ALIREZA SOTAKBAR. caption: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves at supporters during a rally in the northeastern city of Bojnourd on November 3, 2010. Ahmadinejad lashed out at Russia, saying it had “sold out” Iran to arch-foe the United States by cancelling a deal to supply S-300 ground-to-air missiles. photo 2: Photo : REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE. caption: Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) presents Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with a book printed in Russia about Berlusconi’s political life, during their meeting in the presidential residence Bocharov ruchei in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi, April 2, 2002. Putin called Italy a privileged partner and noticed that its role in Europe is growing, Itar-Tass agency reported.)

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Michael Shaw
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