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December 6, 2006

Breaking Through The Lines

Gates-Photographers

(click for full size)

  This shot in today’s NYT, summing up the Gates confirmation hearing, only differs in degree from today’s single photo  on the White House website.

Its been pretty strange comparing the visual and written narrative concerning the White House and the war since the mid-term election.  (As if there was any other White House story line these days!)  Although thoroughly trained on his political problems, the textual media still credits Bush with a good degree of authority and control.  The pictures, on the other hand, beg to differ.  The visuals, day-by-day, reveal a White House repeatedly subjugated and embarrassed by unplanned or improvised events.  It is  consistently minimized and overshadowed by other players, be it the Iraqis, the Saudis, Congress or members of the Iraq Study Group.

Today’s photo is the latest example.

In this case, Bush’s new man at the Defense Department (who shall remain faceless) serves (by proxy, at the hand of these encroaching photographers) as the object of boundary-free circumspection by a restive public and a less seduced and submissive media.

In an almost a complete flip from pre-invasion days, scrutiny has broken through the lines.

(image: Doug Mills/The New York Times.  December 6, 2006.  nytimes.com)

  • http://photography.sumption.org Dan Sumption

    Amen for scrutiny!

  • lower_case A

    Looking at this photo, I am strangely reminded of The Economist’s “The Vultures Gather” cover pic from before the midterms. Perhaps that says more about me than it does about the composition or subjects in the picture. On the other hand, maybe not.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Somewhat off-topic but:
    Now the U.S. has a spy agency run by a solider (NSA run by USAF General Hyaden) has the intelligence oversight branch/fig leaf run by an ambassador (and former spy) and will probably end up with a spy running the Pentagon.
    Weird, just plain weird….

  • margaret

    Bag: Did you catch the photos online at Washington Post, yesterday? They were very strange, with very close, tightly composed shots of Gates and various Senators, the angles being rather weird, giving an impression of smug intrigue…everyone smiling and with secret little looks at each other. I thought it was a very odd series. There was one spectacular one of Gates sitting, low in the bottom of the picture, at the hearing desk, with lights blazing above, looking like something out of “close encounters of a third kind.” Is the Washington Post trying to tell us something?

  • http://www.futurebird.com futurebird

    Circling in for the kill… was the first thing to come to mind. He’s under the microscope– we’re going to watch this one closely… that’s what this image says.
    I wonder if they mean it?

  • Chris

    At his Senate hearing, Mr. Gates said “I can assure you that I don’t owe anybody anything,” the nominee promised, according to the Washington Post.
    A quick search of news stories and photographs shows no mention of whether or not his testimony was under oath.

  • http://www.fromthearchives.blogspot.com Megan

    No one else thought that the diagonal lines of the reporters and Gates in the center looked like a “W”?

  • garyb50

    Looks to me like 3 of them aren’t even shooting Gates. Actually, it’s 4 if you count the guy at the bottom right. He’s trying to remember what he’s supposed to stop at the store for on the way home.
    3 shooters are shooting the shooters.

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