Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
May 13, 2017

Burning Through the Teflon: Social Media of the Week

A young guest tries to remove the seal from the lectern as Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks during and event with military families to celebrate National Military Appreciation Month and National Military Spouse Appreciation Day in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. The vice president hosted about 160 spouses and children of active duty U.S. military members. (May 8, 2017 - Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

This week in Trump Land was pretty much true to form. After the good (enough) news of the House passing a healthcare bill, Trump freaked out over the Senate’s Russia investigation and fired the FBI Director without letting his staff know. In other words, we saw a little calm, followed by a self-destructive binge and an ensuing political and media storm.

The visuals though seemed a little different. We weren’t seeing that much media mockery. Instead, we were seeing scenes of clear ineptitude and stress, pictures of real political damage (and ammunition for opponents down the road). If feels like the Teflon is wearing off and Trump is burning through the  insulation afforded by respect for the Office. We saw photos, like the unintended ones of Trump and the Russians in the Oval, or the late night Conway pic or Spicer squirming through his press briefing, that captured the administration looking desperate, chased out of their parallel universe. (More evidence of that are Ivanka’s pics, often reposted by the White House, trying to defend and deflect.)

I was especially taken by the TIME cover by Benjamin Rasmussen. I don’t think we got our message across very well in the tweet but we couldn’t help appreciating the juxtaposition of DT’s head and the crown-like chandelier. With Trump’s Comey meltdown, are we seeing the would-be king, in the most courtly space in the White House, beating a retreat? In terms of Trump’s viability, could things be coming to a head?

Don’t miss that great photo of the Aussie Senator, by the way. As a point of comparison, it shows how retrograde things in Washington really are.

This should have read: Everything odd then makes perfect sense today….

Wonderful the way it plays off Magritte, but instead pivots away from fantasy, to being black and a woman, to identity and style. To now. #Repost @echosight ・・・ Hi folks! Taking over this week is @yagurlsophia (an experimental documentary filmmaker) and @orianakoren (an editorial photographer) coming to you from LA. As visual storytellers our focus is empowering black folks and marginalized communities by reimagining a future of liberation. Through the lens of two black women we will take you on a journey this week through the of soul of the African Diaspora and the beauty and grace of folks of color. // “The place in which I will fit will not exist until I make it” – #JamesBaldwin // #echosight #doubleexposure #collab #blackwomen #liberation #losangeles

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— Michael Shaw

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI Photos via Instagram. Caption: A child attempts to remove the seal from the lectern as Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at an event honoring military families. May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC.

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