No other site reviews and critiques news images as well as publishes original photography — all in the name of helping you become a sharper “visual consumer.” Are you bombarded by powerful images from the world of news, culture and social media? Sign up for our “Week in Re-View” and let us help unpack them for you. Other sites read the words. We read the pictures.

Close
Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
May 27, 2006

Performance Problems? Or, No Longer That Kind Of Guy?

Whosmacho



Reporter: Mr. President, you spoke about missteps and mistakes in Iraq. Could I ask both of you which missteps and mistakes of your own you most regret?

Bush: Sounds like kind of a familiar refrain here. Saying “bring it on.” Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. But I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner. You know, “wanted dead or alive.” That kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted. And so I learned from that.

  – From Thursday evening Bush/Blair Press Conference

Here’s where I’m a little confused about this cover.  The illustration equates the loss of virility with the failure of Bush’s aggressive and adventurist policies.  With Bush’s more moderate stance on immigration, however, and now the admission that his macho attitude was a central failing in prosecuting the war, what does the illustration say about Bush’s political shift to a more humble style?

And, does a softer Bush make any sense at this point?

The wingnuts have been completely taken aback by Bush’s sudden “emasculation.”  In what stands as a profound statement, Michelle Malkin and Little Green Footballs didn’t even mention the Bush-Blair press conference.  On Hot Air (Malkin’s new conservative video blog), on the other hand, the discussion thread attached to the clip of Bush’s statement of “regret” was dripping with disgust over Bush’s “wimpification.”

Although supportive of the new, more fortified Democrats, The Prospect’s lead article ultimately builds an argument for American leaders abandoning the macho act.  For someone like Bush, however, who has built his whole persona around testosterone and swagger, you have to wonder how soon the death of “Bring it On” might spawn similar illustrations in the right wing press.

(Full transcript/video of Bush-Blair press conference)

(image:  Aaron Morales. Sculpted illustration by Liz Lomax.  The American Prospect, Volume 17, Issue 6. June 2006)

Comments Powered by Disqus

Refresh Archives

Random Notes