November 14, 2012

The Petraeus Women: AP Goes Tabloid

Now that’s an effect: women behind bars.

What was a security breach story, a sexcapade, a study in power and a digital privacy question mark suddenly turned yesterday, at least visually speaking, into a voyeuristic stalking exercise. (When the newswires promised they were going to become less stodgy, I guess they weren’t kidding. I just thought, though, the move was in the direction of substance.)

So there they are: the two Petraeus femme fatales in matching pink. The grainy Broadwell photo is especially creepy given the photo’s strong surveillance/perp vibe. Jill Kelly, on the other hand, the “honorary ambassador” and “unpaid social liaison” looks like she’s about to bang out another dozen or so pages of chit-chat to General Allen — or a screed to local authorities, perhaps, requesting diplomatic immunity.

You’d have thought these two AP photographers would have balked at the assignment of using a telephoto lens from who knows how far away – simply because real paparazzi would have gotten a lot more than lunch money for these sleazy images, these dueling photos abetting AP in setting up their own version of a cat fight. I can imagine the next phase of the FBI investigation boring into why these women (or their relatives) don’t have blinds on their windows. And then, there are always the national security implications of Paula’s choice in wine.

(photo: Cliff Owen/AP caption: Paula Broadwell holds a drink in the kitchen of her brother’s house in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. Broadwell is CIA Director David Petraeus’ biographer, with whom he had an affair that led to his abrupt resignation last Friday. It was Broadwell’s threatening emails to Jill Kelley, a Florida woman who is a Petraeus family friend, that led to the FBI’s discovery of communications between Broadwell and Petraeus indicating they were having an Chris O’Meara caption: Jill Kelley looks out the window of her home Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012 in Tampa, Fla. Kelley is identified as the woman who allegedly received harassing emails from Gen. David Petraeus’ paramour, Paula Broadwell. She serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, where the military’s Central Command and Special Operations Command are located.)

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Michael Shaw
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