Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
October 24, 2006

Just Prey

Boehner4-3  Boehner3-1

Boehner1-1  Boehner5-1

by Chris Maynard

In these days of high tech gadgets and gizmos, sometimes an old-fashioned telephoto lens makes a great stand-in for a polygraph machine. There are no electrodes to hook up, and most politicians willingly submit to the test. House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, demonstrates its simplicity, not to mention its effectiveness, in a Capitol hallway after testifying before the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

He said "I told the committee the same thing that I have told many of you," which admittedly covers a lot of possibilities. Boehner, of course, is famous for first saying he’d alerted Speaker Dennis Hastert to the problems of Rep. Mark Foley’s relationships with Congressional pages. Then, on the same day, he said he wasn’t totally sure he’d told Hastert. Then, on October 3, after the Washington Times ran an editorial calling for Hastert’s resignation, Boehner switched back, saying "I believe I talked to the speaker and he told me it had been taken care of. And my position is it’s in his corner, it’s his responsibility."

Part of the power of news conference photographs is that we see the physical without being sidetracked by the verbal; consequently the image tends to have a longer shelf life than the questions answered or dodged. Ask anyone who saw the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon debates and they’ll say Nixon looked shifty and needed a shave; very few remember what either candidate said. Did Ed Muskie cry at a 1972 press conference or was he brushing snowflakes off his cheek?

So now with a long lens trained on him, Mr. Boehner watches the wind, looking for eddies, alert for any reason to modify his tale again. He  looks as if he’s searching for a bus to leap in front of. In the meantime, he purses his lips, looks to the right, looks to the left, looks anywhere but at the camera. His lips and tongue seem to be run by remote control. His eyebrows bounce. It isn’t pretty. He looks cornered, like a prey at the end of a hunt, treed and trying to figure out how the hell he’s going to save his skin.

(image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. October 18, 2006. Washington.

  • Doctor Jay

    Another crack in the wall of confidence.

  • Bob

    A guy who well might be going to a place where there are few mirrors and absolutely no tanning machines.

  • margaret

    This is what happens when one lies. And, it should happen: the exposure is well-deserved.

  • momly

    As I was scrolling down to read the post, the first two pictures made me think of Robert DeNiro. Considering the types of characters DeNiro plays, I think the movie version of this role has been cast. Good work, Bag!

  • Rafael

    I don’t think tinkerbell is coming bac from this one. I hope.

  • TF-MA

    Of course the ped-o-phile enabler is coming back. These sociopaths could sodomize sheep on the White House lawn in front of the Whore Media and their brain dead, conscience-free, goading kracker followers will go to the very gates of Hell to keep them in.

  • Cactus

    This is very interesting. There should be more photos like this of all those freaks. I remember hearing/reading somewhere that one can tell things from a person’s eye movement. That is, looking to one side means one thing, looking down means something else, when answering questions. Can’t remember where I came across this so maybe someone can help.
    Personally, I identify liars by a certain ’smilin’ eye’ look which I don’t know how to describe, but Bush always has it and Clinton did when he said “I did not have…….with that woman.” It was a dead give-away. This guy doesn’t have it so I might conclude that lying is difficult for him. Hey, maybe he does have a conscience. He has a worried face and he is trying to think faster than his mouth can move (obviously difficult) about how he can lie his way out of this predicament.

  • lower_case A

    This is what I love most about still images. The Bush sneer; Cheney’s dead eyes; Rummy’s “gosh, did I say that?” look of perplexity; etc, etc.
    This montage is beautiful! What is Boehner running away from? The truth, obviously.

  • Stephanie Ngo

    This is another sad display of our government today. Another government official with some problems. We have Mark Foley who left office because of his sexual relations with male pages and then we have Cheney trying to deny that they have been using torture on people known as waterboarding.
    Studies show that your body language tells us more about a person and what their view is versus what they actually say. And this post about Boehner is just more proof to it. For Boehner to lie back and forth saying that he did or didn’t inform Speaker Dennis Hastert about Mark Foley is just another downfall to our government.
    I mean if Boehner is trying to protect his reputation he’s doing one hell of a crappy job. Maybe the government should put in a policy to check up on government officials to make sure they’re not up to something fishy. But then that would cost a lot of money and I don’t think people would risk this when they don’t even know how effective it would be. We’re in a sticky predicament, hopefully the upcoming elections will bring in better people to run the government….

Refresh Archives

Random Notes