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September 12, 2005

9/11 All Over Again

Bushfirefighters

Bushno911Bless

Bushno911Cross

Bushno911Flag

Bushno911Ff

Bushno911Towers

Gulf911Macho

Bushno911Never

Dubya is back!  (And the graphics couldn’t be more loaded.)

With Bush’s third visit to the Gulf Coast, Rove has retooled the visual vocabulary.  In a reprise of “the glory days,” Bush posed yesterday with New York firefighters in New Orleans.  The gratuitous caption states that the firemen “also worked in New York in September 11, 2001.”

Besides the insertion of the flag as a symbol mostly absent to date in the Katrina imagery, the photo includes a cross; a written reference to God; and what appears to be (good grief!) an actual model of the twin towers.

What I couldn’t decide was whether the absence of a black firefighter was an oversight, or an intentional aspect with the base in mind.  To placate the separate constituencies, I would imagine that Bush’s PR photos will trend mostly “all black” or “all white,” at least for the time being.

(image: Larry Downing/Reuters.  September 11, 2005.  New Orleans. YahooNews)

  • dcb

    don’t the ss’s in god bless look a little bit Nazi-ish?

  • EG

    I guess the cross means that no Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim firefighters died in New York on 9/11.

  • Rafael

    Or anyone other than white christian Americans for that matter. It is so blatant that it make sme want to hurl.

  • lemondloulou54

    FDNY firemen, New York’s bravest, in shorts? No way.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    brilliant de-construction, Michael.
    oh yeah… covering half of this image with my left hand; ie., no more Bush ~ and pretending that i don’t recognize the “twin towers” there ~ oh, YEAH : now the absence of “FDNY” shirt and (yes) the NAZI “SS” thing and the crucifx and the 2 white guys (!) wow man, looks like some kinda KKK / white supremacist / totally male redneck -cum- domestic terrorist cow state hysteria nightmare “let’s make a bonfire tonight!” southern comfort rebel rally.
    see also digby: Dusting Off the Manual RedState = Civil War Confederacy States GOP Strategy

  • Diane O’Bannon

    Nothing here that isn’t overt. As posed and full of implied meaning as a picture of Hitler serving dinner to a family.

  • George Myers

    In the early hours of 9/11/01 it was thought 110 million in currency had been stolen from a Russian entrpreneur in the WTC. Turns out he had only removed it for safe keeping, and all those Australians primarily weren’t out millions invested in hard currency exchanges. Or, the theft was botched. It is ironic though this figure/foreground it continually represents, us and the WTC, which had many people from around the world in business. It was for sale on 9/09/01 and politicians in the primary (tommorrow is the Democrat primary in NYC) were on a major local network discussing what they were going to do with the money from the sale of the WTC if elected, evaluated by its news department. Then all hell broke loose.

  • fotonique

    Larry Downing: Propagandist?
    Nobody Here But Us Cactus
    …the view of Mrs. Sheehan at pavement level makes it possible, at least for a moment, to consider the war on a more tangible footing. It suggests it might even be possible to identify paths we could take that would actually lead us from here to there.
    …image #3 of Mrs. Sheehan by photographer Larry Downing is one of the most brilliantly conceived and well-constructed / composed pieces of political propaganda to have ever graced the pages of BAGnewsNotes.
    …i only wish we had a virtual “white board”, a shareable, visual Wikipedia-like facility here to deconstruct its many aspects as a group exercise: it is that good; powerful ~ simply superb.
    …The bottom photo, considered from the “left”/”right” angle is amazing. The sign on the left – Bring the troops home Now – with Cindy having walked to the far right to confront, and TOWER OVER a tiny, distant bush. Amazing.
    …The pic? Caution! Soccer Mom! Beware of the soccer mom. She’ll fight to win.

  • djangone

    The ‘macho’ that you pick up on is I think the central characteristic Bush is trying to portray right now in his moment of greatest crisis. It’s his base appeal to voters–moreso than any ideology or character trait. At the end of the day, how many Americans pay attention to the words?
    Notice in this shot and the shot of the firemen below that nobody is taller than Bush. The angle of the camera cinches it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 50 firemen that they took from the Atlanta community relations meeting were the 50 shortest.
    Bush’s body language and gestures during his ‘Brownie’ press conference were about as macho and ‘hoss’ like as I’ve ever seen a human being outside of a cheap western. He stood with his weight on one leg, dangled a muscled arm, tilted his shoulders rakishly, and addressed the camera sidelong, all of it saying ‘we’s gonna posse up and git ‘im.’ It made me a hurl a well-chewed Entenmans as I waited for the inevitable spit of tobacco juice that thankfully never came.
    Getting back to the 8/31 firement shot–the staging is strange: why are the firemen walking on the side of the road and Bush in the middle? This is a stretch, but the fact is that roads are ‘crowned’ and so the firemen are walking in the part of the road that makes them–yep–shorter than Bush. Yes this is a stretch, but nothing surprises me anymore.

  • Mad

    These firemen are not exactly lit up by being in the presence of the Great Leader. Keep an eye on this. We used to see dazzled eyes and smiles.
    Not a one of these guys looks like they are impressed by Bush. Some are ignoring Bush, some are looking with a questioning gaze, or even a distrustful gaze.
    Maybe they feel that they are being used. Nobody in this photo is happy to be with Bush.

  • dalektic

    i thought you’d appreciate this

  • http://molly.douthett.net Molly

    The Rude Pundit understands.

  • http://molly.douthett.net Molly

    So does

  • http://molly.douthett.net Molly

    Oops, let’s try that again!
    Attaturk

  • bkny

    can we please end the fetishization of fdny.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/woodka/ tigger

    These people make me ill. I’m sick to death of their symbolic messages to their base. The rest of us were never fooled by them, and they just politicize tragedy over and over again.
    Enough of this charade, already.

  • ummabdulla

    What’s that other flag on the right?

  • PTate in Mn

    Bush’s body is front and center. As djangone points out, he is bigger than everyone, except the firefighter whose hand Bush is shaking. In terms of depth projection, the brain can interpret this two ways: Bush is bigger than everyone else or that Bush is physically closer to us than to the fireman. Both work for the spin.
    Note that his torso and legs face us, the viewer. Imagine that his head has been photoshopped so his face looks directly at us, not the fireman. Suddenly Bush is walking confidently forward, towards us, out of 9/11. The fireman are props in the background.
    It projects subliminal movement in time: We “see” Bush moving forward from then (9/11) to now (Katrina). The same resolute leader who led the nation on 9/11 is back, present to lead us in this current national crisis.

  • http://google.com Unknown

    Correct me if I’m wrong… But that photo-op as you would make it out to believe, was in dedication of those part of the New York Fire Department that lost their lives on 9/11.
    It was not a tribute to those who helped in cleaning up after katrina, with these “subliminal 9/11 messages” thrown in. It was a memorial for those who died in NY.
    You people need to get a better day job, cause you all have waaaaay too much time to come up with all these crackpot theories over ONE picture. :P

  • http://profile.typekey.com/perrspectives/ AvengingAngel

    Bush’s prime-time “Katrina Comeback” address was designed to help him, and not the Gulf States, recover from his administration’s disastrous bungling of the Katrina response. He turned to the same old page in his political playbook: offer to shower money on the devastated South, but hold no one accountable for the past and shun independent oversight of the rebuilding. And just like 9/11, the Free Lunch President refused to ask the American people to pay for it.
    For the full story, see:
    “Bush’s Katrina Cop Out”

  • penalcolony

    Macho? He wishes. Looks old and tired to me.

  • elena

    I love your site.
    You are brilliant.
    Thank You,
    E

  • William

    Wasn’t the FDNY refusing photo-ops with Bush after the White House lied to them about the toxicity of the air at ground zero?

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