February 22, 2024
Chatting the Pictures

Chatting the Pictures: Trump on Trial

Welcome to Chatting the Pictures. Every two weeks, we present a short, lively video discussion between Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer, professor, and historian, Cara Finnegan, examining a significant picture in the news. Chatting the Pictures is produced by Liliana Michelena.

By Staff
About the Video

Mary Altaffer took this photo for AP. It shows former President Trump being escorted to a courtroom in New York on April 4, 2023, during his trial for falsifying Trump Organization business records. Special counsel investigations into Trump since 2020 have cost taxpayers over $13 million, and OpenSecrets estimates that Trump’s political operation has spent up to $130 million in legal fees over that time. At least 5 major federal and state prosecutions are in progress or pending against him.

In the video, we discuss how, despite his legal woes and the daunting array of law enforcement officials, the scene still functions as a Trump photo-op. We also consider the image from the perspective of Trump’s followers, the way it reinforces his authoritarian narrative and penchant for martyrdom.

You can find all the Chatting the Pictures replays here.

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Michael Shaw

An analyst of news photos and visual journalism, and a frequent lecturer and writer on visual politics, photojournalism and media literacy, Michael is the founder and publisher of Reading the Pictures.

Cara Finnegan

Cara Finnegan is a writer, photo historian, and professor of Communication at the University of Illinois. She has been affiliated with Reading The Pictures for nearly 15 years, most recently as co-host of Chatting The Pictures. Her most recent book is Photographic Presidents: Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital.


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