Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
December 1, 2006

Misseltoe Strikes And Downing Trees

Downing-Tree

If his wish from Santa Claus was for Iraq to simmer down, Bush got his present — for a day.

Unintentionally, I believe, the Chicago Tribune reveals how a “hungry” media can be seduced into running holiday interference for Pennsylvania Avenue swamp dwellers.  Not everyone was so decked today, however.  Incensed by Bush’s meeting charade with President Maliki on Thursday, War Room’s Tim Greve (via Huffpo) doesn’t just turn Laura’s menu upside down, he incinerates it.

If more subtle in these matters, the visual media has its own way of demurring.  After Mrs. Bush presented the official White House Christmas tree to the press in the Blue Room, Larry Downing of Reuters captured the shot above.

I’m sure Downing’s impression captures the true mood inside that building.  The tree is a lonely one, reflecting the tokenism of cheer.  Beyond that, what you’ve got is a House full of people scurrying around in some kind of blur.



(image: Larry Downing/Reuters.  November 30, 2006.  White House.  Via YahooNews)

  • GeorgeF

    Its a little OT, but it relates to the US-political scenery (English issue of “Der Spiegel”):
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,451645,00.html

  • lytom

    “Everything really is red this year,” said the first lady.
    Iraq is no exception!
    Marie Antoinette could not have said it better!

  • http://www.dock.net/fuming_mucker/ Darryl Pearce

    How …poignant.
    Actually, the one thing I hate about getting older (what? I’m 46), is the intense “compartmentalization” necessary to keep the youngsters from knowing too much. But, sometimes, that lessons come crashing in regardless.
    …best wishes for the holidays and high hopes for the new year.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    the only thing more gauche would have been a decked-out oil rig from Needless Markup!

  • ummabdulla

    That blue-and-gold theme looks pretty dull compared to the decor at the Saudi King’s meeting with Dick Cheney.
    Completely off-topic, but did anyone see the “family photo” from the NATO summit in Latvia? The Latvian President stands out, while Angela Merkel is one of the boys – but it took me a while before I even noticed Tony Blair there, way out in the cold.

  • gasho

    This is a great image. Here’s my take:
    The snow on the baughs: as blatantly fake as the spin from the podium.
    The wide angle shot makes the room seem off balance – distorted and wobbly.
    A row of empty blue seats – reserved for the upcoming congress, and the totally fake show that will be put on for them?
    The emptyness of the room itself with the lone figure dashing for the exit. Either nothing is happening in the WH, or whatever is happening isn’t happening in plain sight – and certainly has nothing to do with Christmas Cheer!!
    Hollow, fake, and empty. Bush’s display of faith? Going through the motions isn’t impressing anyone anymore. Hopefully America can recover from this heartless, souless period. Impeachment and/or war crimes trials would be a good start… let’s get those blue seats occupied, already.

  • jt from BC

    ummabdulla > She lived in Canada from the late 50s until 1998 when she relinquished her citizenship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaira_V%C4%AB%C4%B7e-Freiberga
    “It is thought that Riga was chosen to host the NATO Summit in 2006 partly thanks to her relationships with the President and with Dr. Rice.”
    Our boy Stevie Wonder (Harper) is staying far away from GWB at the left end of the back row. He is being hounded for his relationship with the scrub and his reckless over extension of troops in Afghanistan.

  • Kitt

    That tree does not want to be there.

  • weisseharre

    “o,yehoosWho’reWhos,comealltohell”

Refresh Archives

Random Notes