Art(h)ist\’ry

the ARTistry of ARThistory occasionally done ARTfully

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Photo Op: White House Unveils New Press Room

Posted by gninja on July 11, 2007

I realize this is more of a BAGnewsNotes kind of post, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my NY Times rant on.  This was their web page over-the-fold image for the unveiling of the new press room (polishing brass on the Titanic, aren’t they over there at the White House, eh?):

11cnd_press3372.jpg
The photo selected by a NY Times staffer is of some lady vacuuming, while an aide (or whatever kind of be-suited guy looks on, latte in hand).  I can’t decide whether this is sheer brilliance or just stupid.  If it’s the former, it portrays the current administration as a wealthy white man’s club, where African-American ladies keep things tidy.  Fair’s fair: since W wants to liken himself to our founding fathers, then this is an apt image for the role he so wants to play.  It also begs the question: where is the guy (or Snow) anyway?  Is there now, along with the new door that obstructs reporters’ view of people coming into the room, a policy against photographs while Bush is present?  I don’t know.

In any case, I’m not so sure that the individual who chose to put up this photo had these things in mind.  Or if s/he did whether the messages I think it conveys would be read by most people checking in over at the website.  People rarely linger too much over news photos, much less pick out things they communicate.  Which is why I think every kid should be taught art history in school.  Shame there’re no multiple choice tests for it, otherwise No Child Left Behind would definitely make sure it was standard curriculum material.

Did I mention BAGnewsNotes?  Go see BAGnewsNotes.

Posted in journalism, photography, politics | 1 Comment »