January 7, 2013

More on New Congress: Straight White Males, Media Too, Could Use Some Sensitivity Training

Biden Baldwin Swearing In

Biden Baldwin Swearing In #1

Biden Baldwin Swearing in

Biden Baldwin Swearing In 1

Biden Baldwin Swearing In

Biden Baldwin Swearing In 3
Biden Baldwin Swearing In 4

If the visual coverage of the new lesbian and bisexual members joining Congress is any indication, the establishment has some adjusting to do. Specifically, I was looking at the Getty package dealing with Biden swearing in the newly elected officials and Zimbo’s edit of it.

Besides the number of photos of Biden swearing in Senator Tammy Baldwin (is it just coincidence, or historic significance, there are six images with Baldwin, several more than any other Senator in the 59 photo set?), there’s also the fact Uncle Joe is so huggy-huggy. Of course, there’s the inclination to write it off as “just Biden” — abetted by this weird shot of the Veep noodling with Bob Corker’s wife, and by this post about Biden’s thoroughly off-color line to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s husband, thank God, to spread his legs for a frisking. At the same time, though, we know the media is only too willing to play on cultural differences and sexual subtexts, so why not the whole bunch of pictures of the Senator in the arms of a man?

Kyrsten Sinema Buzzfeed screenshot

But then, that could be more clearly judging by the photo of incoming bisexual AZ Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema Buzzfeed chose for it’s post on this incoming Congressional class. …I hope more adjustment is coming, too, to WAPO’s Style section which starts of its profile of the incoming Congresswoman by describing an encounter with a policeman with her dress unzipped.

(photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images caption: U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) (L) participates in a reenacted swearing-in with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in the Old Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol January 3, 2013 in Washington, DC. Biden swore in the newly-elected and re-elected senators earlier in the day on the floor of the current Senate chamber.)

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Michael Shaw
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