Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
May 12, 2015

Muhammad Art Contest: Pamela Geller Rallies the Troops

I’m not here to debate whether Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders baited two men, one with ties to radical Islam, to try and crash the “First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas. The inspiration got them both killed outside the exhibition space. What I am interested in are the photos Geller and Wilders posted to Instagram and Twitter right after.

It sounds like it was quite a show of force, and not a cheap one for them or for us, providing protection for the cartoon contest:

The organizers of the event had paid over $10,000 to a total of forty off-duty police officers and private security guards.[4] The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a SWAT team, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were all ready[vague] in case of any incidents.

— from Wikipedia (Curtis Culwell Center attack)

…Somehow, they forgot to mention the Dutch Secret Service.

I’m sorry for the unarmed security guard who was grazed in the ankle. This show of muscle, however, looks more reminiscent of the American invasion of Iraq — as supplemented by the Blackwater group. For Geller and Wilders to publish these photos on the heels of the bloodshed is to make it look (Geller’s shot having almost a USO vibe) like they’re event was a device to rally the troops and bring the battle to the evil doers.

(photo 1: Pamela Geller/Instagram. caption: Amazing heroes providing security for free speech conference.  photo 2: Geert Wilders /@geertwilderspvv/Twitter. caption: Picture taken just before #garlandshooting . Thank God the heroes of SWAT-team prevented the worst. )

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