Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 15, 2014

With Cheney, You Always Could Tell the Book From the Cover

Given Dick Cheney’s complete denial of torture this weekend on Meet the Press (unless it involves flying airplanes into skyscrapers), it’s like the media was discovering anew that the man lives in a parallel universe. Wasn’t the portrait of omnipotence in the face of facts fully validated, however, upon the publication of his memoir in 2011?

If you’ve forgotten the cover photo, there’s Cheney standing alone in Cross Hall, the spot perhaps most identified with the leader of the free world. As I wrote at the time, “Cross Hall and the famous red carpet is the space associated with the President of the United States, the backdrop and sanctum recognized, in the public eye, with presidential addresses and presidential processions down the gallery.”

I’m sure after years of speculation that Cheney was more in charge of the Bush administration than Bush was, it seemed the photo was meant as confirmation. Beyond the bright GOP red necktie echoing the bright red carpet and the terror war-issue lapel pin, the way Dick was situated is illustrative too. Between those two sconces in the yellowish light, there’s an imperial vibe (think a royal palace or the Vatican) that reads “emperor” as much or more than just Commander-in-Chief.

(photo: unattributed)

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