Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
February 21, 2007

Dick The Lesser

Lesser-Cheney


There was a curiously innocuous image on the White House photo gallery yesterday.  It’s featured a shot of Dick Cheney disembarking Air Force Two in Japan.

Was it just incidental that he’s portrayed as small and distant, or that, in spite of the trappings, there’s a lack of personal welcome?  Or, is an unconscious editorial reflex at play?

After all, Cheney could soon become an even bigger White House liability if Scooter Libby gets convicted.  (For more visual tone setting, notice Dick’s expression, and the enclosing shadows in this weird shot at Tuesday’s NYT.)  Of course, the visual minimization might also relate to Cheney’s loss of pull suffered in the power struggle between himself and Bush/Rice.  And then, the anonymity could also reflect Cheney’s lack of credibility in chatting up the N. Korea deal, considering how vehemently he opposed it.

Clearly, the Administration could have portrayed the V.P. more grandly (or else, skipped him entirely).  Instead, with this “seen a thousand times” runway shot, he is featured in a new role: typical run-of-the-mill Vice President.



(David Bohrer/White House.  Tokyo, Tuesday, February 20, 2007. whitehouse.gov)

  • http://www.keirneuringer.blogspot.com Keir

    The White House proudly presents the super fascist, war mongering, secretive ruler of the planet (also: “run-of-the-mill vice president) marching down an endless row of gunmen in newly remilitarized Japan, preparing to strangle whoever’s on the Left.

  • putnam

    Mighty Cheney, towering over the endless row of soldiers at attention, strides through the pomp, one lone man. He alone has the vision to know that we must control the oil and everyone must die.

  • http://molly.douthett.net lowly grunt

    “Run of the mill Vice President”? OUCH! That’s gotta hurt….

  • PTate in FR

    I have looked at this picture several times pondering what to say about it. Everytime, I look at it, immediately, in my mind, the Darth Vadar tune starts playing, Dah-Dah-Dah, dum-di-dah, dum-di-dah!
    I’m with putnam on this. Cheney is the biggest thing on the screen. He’s the man on the red carpet. Everyone else, all those soldiers rigidly at attention, are little exclamation points. We have a rifle butt in the foreground, to prompt unconscious associations between Cheney, the military, & power,
    I’d say Cheney is looking very Presidential here, not run of the mill at all. In the linked WH photo gallery all the pictures of GWB put him in smiley-face, PR front roles, in front of people, making announcements and so on. Meanwhile, Cheney (Dah-Dah-Dah, dum-di-dah, dum-di-dah!) strides off to make deals.

  • http://www.sherrychandler.com Bluegrass Poet

    That red carpet sure is red among all those gray tones. Sort of like a river of blood…

  • margaret

    Pomp and Consequences.
    Patrick Fitzgerald, summing up to the Jury: “Give us back the Truth.”

  • noname

    It’s interesting to me that it seems like nobody in the picture is looking at Cheney. The minder is leading him, looking ahead. The (honor) guard is looking straight ahead. The guy in the background is looking away. Air force two, and the cars, all point away from the veep.
    Cheney is not just isolated, you get the impression that he’s like a bear being led on a chain, and the guards are there to keep him in line. (After all, they are facing in.)

  • Patrick

    That Richard B. Cheney has lost power or is somewhat of a ‘lesser’ now within the Bush Administration is pure spin/propaganda for the ‘Man behind the curtain’ during a little rough stretch. If I recall, this is the seventh or eighth time that the press has promoted articles marginalizing the VPOTUS over the past six years and each time Cheney has come back from the dead to haunt the American people with a vengeance. Cheney is not going to give up power so easily nor without a fight. Nothing is more dangerous than a wounded animal and when Cheney stops bleeding from the Libby ordeal he’ll be even more deranged, hostile and mission intent. This man has built a fear machine within the WH, State, Intel and Pentagon that carries out his every directive with unquestioned ruthlessness. Cheney’s next operational objective against Iran is underway so this latest round toasting his demise provides some much needed cover.
    Act III- Iran is about to begin so please take your seats.

  • ummabdulla

    Yeah, they’re thrilled to have him there.
    Cheney hit by Tokyo chill
    Dick Cheney, the US Vice-President, landed in Tokyo last night for what promised to be a frosty series of meetings, after weeks of outspoken criticism of American policy from within the Japanese Government.
    Japanese Cabinet Ministers have openly denounced US policy in Iraq as childish and accused the Bush Administration of being cocky. The latest blow was last week’s agreement on North Korea’s nuclear programme which is privately regarded by many in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Government as an American betrayal. Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, could hardly have been more dismissive of Mr Cheney’s visit. “Since the other party is coming over,” he said yesterday, when asked what was the point of Mr Cheney’s visit, “it must have some point for the other party…”

  • gasho

    If we really had an international justice system, those guards would close in around him and lead him off to a war crimes trial.
    Whenever I see cheney and guns in the same picture, I think of Mr. Whittington. I wonder how he’s doing these days… or if he’s setting off metal detectors in the airport with the buckshot in his face.
    Karma doesn’t “go away”. Sooner or later what we’ve done bears it’s fruit. Even in the Christian model, the judgement day can’t be put off forever. Cheney is an old guy. He’s got tons of money. He’s paranoid by his own fear mongering. The end of his life isn’t going to be fun. He may have his deathbed scene in a jail cell (if justice is quick enough) or he may be in a palace somewhere – but when he looks back on his life and sees how he created wars for money; destroyed the standing of the country he swore to serve; enriched oil brokers by raping the planet, killing children and inflaming religious tensions; promoted torture in leiu of justice; and shot a man in the face – he’ll ponder the great unknown of the afterlife and fear will seize his tiny rock-hard heart.
    Oh, such suffering he’s caused himself!
    What are the odds that he’ll use all his power and might to fight for the planet, call for international peace, greet the muslim leaders with open arms and ears, weep openly in the streets for the children he’s killed and burned, call for the reduction of arms worldwide, promote alternative energies and conservation, appologize to Whittington and vanquish his demons? Come to your senses, Cheney. It’s for your own good!!

  • itwasnte

    Ha Ha! It looks like they’re taking him to be shot!

  • Patrick

    Gasho,
    A change in heart, a touch of humility, blessed by grace or the acts of charity are not something that comes out of a bolt from the blue to those saturated in pure unadulterated evil. Documented history is full of the most vile creatures from Herod Antipas, Nero, Caligula, AF de Sade, Torquemada, Ivan IV, Elizabeth Bathory, Mary Tudor, John I, Robespierre, Vlad Tepesch, Rasputin, Ilse Koch, Hitler, Himmler, Stalin, Amin, Pol Pot, al Bashir or bin Laden and none of these foul beings has ever demonstrated remorse or sought solace through any act of contrition.
    This is just a short list of depravity off the top of my head but where, if at all, do you believe that the henchman Richard B. Cheney or his boss George W. Bush for, the sake of argument, would rank? And if either do rank why would they owe any of us an explanation or apology or the desire to be cloistered in a secluded monastery as penance for sins committed against God and mankind? Theirs is strictly business, nothing personal. It’s the American way and what is so wrong about that?

  • http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/category/politics-society/ Richard Silverstein

    What about that rifle butt framing the shot? An unintended allusion to the famous shotgun blast heard ’round Texas?

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

    Cue the music:
    “All by myself…don’t wanna be all by myself anymore….|

  • snowfear

    Cheney Sucks!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jtfromBC

    Bluegrass Poet, its easy to visualize the carpet as blood, after viewing Cheney’s first handiwork as Sec. of Def. in the film
    The Panama Deception. (1993 Oscar. Best Documentary. 1 hr 31 min 10 sec)
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-446387292666223710&q=news+is%3Afree

  • Stella

    Darth’s theme aside, I hear the Beatles sing for Dick:
    “He went out tiger hunting with his elephant and gun
    In case of accidents he’d always take his mom
    He’s the all American bullet-headed Saxon mother’s son.
    (All the children sing) Hey Bungalo Bill what did you kill?”

  • see you
  • heathcliff

    I have noticed that Cheney looks perversely solid in nearly all his pictures, and this one captures it. His outline is nearly square. He looks like a section of wall. It might be just the result of putting a big black coat on fat man with broad shoulders, but I suspect it is deliberate. His shoulders aren’t naturally that broad. Look at the picture. The shoulders on his coat are half again as wide as anyone around him. It must have padding. That means he must have specifically wanted a coat that would make him look like a linebacker. There is a deep well of masculine anxiety behind that look. He is like the male counterpart to an insecure starlet who has surgery to make her breasts and lips ludicrously huge.

  • mugatea

    http://www.smuttynose.com/
    Sorry that’s not a link, I don’t know how to make sausages.
    Check out Godzilla in the background on the six pack.
    Nice beer, sweet cherries – not tart.

  • ummabdulla

    Now he’s decided to take on China…

  • see you

    Acess the URL to see the images.
    Chain up Cheney! Bring Hicks home!
    Sydney anti-war marchers defy police ban and reclaim the streets
    A Possum News Network Exclusive
    Words and pictures by Gavin Gatenby
    Thursday 22 February 2007 http://www.brushtail.com.au/july_06_on/chain_up_cheney.html
    [...] This evening 1500 anti-war demonstrators overcame a strong police presence and, after a half-hour confrontation with the NSW riot squad and mounted police marched to the US Consulate to protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney’s visit to Australia and the five-year imprisonment of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay.
    An unexpected last-minute ban by NSW Police (no doubt at the instigation of the NSW Labor Government) turned what would have been a routine demonstration into a major test of the right to march.
    The demonstrators prevailed after hundreds filtered through the police cordon around Town Hall Square. The remaining demonstrators bottled up in the square then voted to disperse and move in small groups to the US Consulate in Martin Place. Faced with the impossibility pursuing hundreds of small groups of demonstrators through Thursday night shopping crowds, the police relented and allowed the demonstration to proceed to the US Consulate.
    PLEASE feel free to use these images, but if you do so, please credit Possum News Network and link to this page. High-resolution versions of these and other images of the event available on request.

  • see you

    The ULS I sent was not published
    correctly. So let´s try again and hope Bag do the job…
    thanks !
    http://www.brushtail.com.au/july_06_on/chain_up_cheney.html

  • Robin

    I was more captivated by the “wierd shot” of Cheney. Its very dramatic and invokes (at least for me)the strangest thoughts.
    When I first looked at it this morning my overall impression is that the shadow is a personification of death who follows Cheney’s every move.
    Later in the day though the shadow image took on a more sinister tone. Perhaps a shadow government or puppeteer who operates in the shadows.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes