Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
August 27, 2015

Greenwald on the Depiction of Trump and Ramos as Mirrors

Glenn Greenwald’s analysis of the Trump- Ramos/Univision incident this week (“Jorge Ramos Commits Journalism, Gets Immediately Attacked by Journalists”) is pretty straight-forward.

To the extent members of the corporate media criticized Ramos for pressing Trump on his immigration policy without being granted permission to speak; for engaging Trump’s antagonistic views and factually-challenged assertions as just that; and, especially, for holding a strong position on the immigration issue, Greenwald asserted that the criticism of their colleague (if the English and Latino markets could be assumed to share a fraternity) was more systemic than that. If various media voices accused Ramos of abandoning objectivity and “breaking role,” Greenwald was quick to remind that the media is not there to self-censor, maintain the status quo or even stand opinionless. Instead, Greenwald recognized Ramos’ proactive approach in the same tradition of a Murrow or a Cronkite.

But, what was also interesting was the photo the folks at “The Intercept” chose to illustrate Greenwald’s piece. The image seems to specifically key off Greenwald’s criticism of a WAPO article drawing an equivalence between Ramos and Trump as provocateurs.

Of course news photos, by essence, reflect many meanings. (The fact the candidate, opposite Ramos’s fervor, has no head, is certainly compelling.) More symmetrically and energetically, though, the key to the picture are the hands. If the AP photo editors found the perfect visual to depict the two men as mirrors, the use of the photo to illustrate Greenwald’s piece was a choice way to represent how the establishment media’s group mind can insinuate volumes without uttering a word.

(photo: Charlie Neibergall/AP)

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