Welcome to the latest edition of Chatting the Pictures. In each 10-minute webcast, co-hosts Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer and historian, Cara Finnegan, discuss three prominent photos in the news. The program is broken into three segments: “The News,” “The Look,” and “The Pick.” “The News” examine a hard news image for its content value. “The Look” focuses on a news photo for its artistry and style. And “The Pick” asks what made a high profile photo so unique to editors or the public.
“The News” photo this week was taken by Jonathan Ernst for Reuters. It depicts Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as she rips up the speech of President Donald Trump after his State of the Union address. As only the latest visual Trump-Pelosi confrontation, we trace how this scene came about. We also outline how Trump treats these addresses, as well as his presidency, like a performance, and how Pelosi, accordingly, stole the show.
For “The Look,” we discuss a photo taken by Antara Foto, distributed by Reuters. The photo shows medical officers spraying Indonesian nationals with antiseptic after they arrived from Wuhan, China, before transferring them to quarantine at an Indonesian air force base. We analyze the picture from the standpoint of tone (why so quirky?), control, and the obscurity of medical science and disease prevention.
“The Pick” this week is a photo by Samuel Corum for Getty Images. It shows reporters reaching out with their cell phones and audio recorders from behind rope lines trying to get a statement from Sen. Lamar Alexander. This was taken after Alexander’s opposition ended any possibility of calling witnesses in Trump’s Senate trial. We felt this photo best captured the hollow exercise, the media censorship, and the foregone conclusion of Trump’s acquittal.
You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.