Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
October 13, 2015

Drawing a Contrast: The Democratic Debate in Las Vegas

Dems Debate

If the commentary was inadvertent, what’s telling is the effect between the static headline of the NYT debate slideshow and the second photo. That’s the key moment in the debate where Sanders said, “it’s enough” about the debate over Clinton’s email.

Yes, the first 2014 Democratic presidential debate was about Clinton’s performance, and Clinton – Sanders, and Clinton vs. all comers, and who else might stand out, and moderate vs. liberal, and the status of the party versus the corporate state. As it turned out, however, what probably most significant about last night’s Democratic debate was its contrast to the Republican campaign … not to mention, the conduct of the Republican dead-enders in Congress.

I looked up the word “comity” in the Webster’s thesaurus and I found words like: compatibleness, fraternization, reciprocity, consensus, cohesion. Then I looked at the antonyms and saw: antagonism, antipathy, hatred, hostility, alienation, rupture, anarchy, disorder, turmoil.

Sure, Clinton’s prominence, strong performance and the weakness of the rest of the field served to mute the battling. And there is nothing in this contest to any way approximate the feelings and the intensity that comprised the ’08 Clinton – Obama race. Really though, it felt like the debate last night was more about with drawing a difference. In other words, there’s our “clashing,” and then there’s all that negation and chaos.

(photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters. caption: Mrs. Clinton thanked Senator Bernie Sanders at the Democratic debate after he came to her support on her email issue.)

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