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January 2, 2008

Taking Aim At Edwards

In light of the recent Bhutto assassination and the fact that Edwards is resuscitating a subject that seems to have been politically disappeared, this image is really disturbing.

The photo accompanies an article yesterday by controversial NYT writer, Michael Gordon, outlining John Edwards’ss just announced proposal for an accelerated troop pullout from Iraq.  The article, however, is not a news story as much as it is a mugging.

In the fifth paragraph, Mr. Gordon takes a now familiar dig at Edwards by describing how Elizabeth Edwards (described as John’s “political partner”), who was listening in on the interview, felt the need to underscore the candidates own points for him.

At the beginning of paragraph six, Mr. Gordon feels compelled to point out that Mr. Edwards’s plan “is at odds with the strategy developed by American military commanders.”

Mr. Gordon uses paragraph fifteen to emphasize that Mr. Edwards has never visited Iraq, while immediately undermining his attack with the fact that the Pentagon only allows visits by Congress members and Governors. (Maybe a subtle dig over the fact that Edwards left Congress?)

In paragraph sixteen, Gordon makes an issue of Edwards’s phone call to Musharraf after the Bhutto assassination as John seeking “to highlight his knowledge of foreign policy.”  The writer also finds it odd that Edwards didn’t mention Iraq in his Sunday campaign appearances “save for a denunciation of greedy military contractors.”  (The write up leaves it unclear, however, if the “greedy” reference belongs to Edwards or Gordon.)

In paragraph seventeen, the writer deems to point out that Edwards was actually able to speak “comfortably about the subject [of Iraq] … without notes or help from policy advisers.”

In paragraphs eighteen through twenty-two, Gordon turns into doom-sayer and Pentagon mouthpiece, warning that:  “American military commanders have publicly cautioned that a rapid withdrawal of troops risks a new escalation of sectarian violence.”  Also citing a National Intelligence Estimate, he warns that Mr. Edwards’s plan would “probably lead to ‘massive civilian casualties and forced population displacement’. ”  In both cases, however, Gordon blurs the distinction between removing troops in general as opposed to troop specifically engaged in training, as Edwards proposes.

And in paragraph twenty-three, Gordon actually makes himself, and his ego, a subject of the story, reporting how Mrs. Edwards “politely chided this reporter for failing to ask about Mr. Edwards’s plan to train some Iraqi forces outside Iraq.”

So, what are we to make of this photograph?  Is it possible Edwards prevents hostile reporters from gaining any more than key hole access to his appearances?  Or maybe Iowa Lakes Community College, where this event was held, really is on a lake and the campaign event was held on a boat — this scene coming by way of a porthole.

If it’s not one of those explanations, however, then Edwards reads like a target to me.

Edwards Calls for Quick Pullout of Troops Training Iraqi Forces (NYT)

Update From Breck World (or: Who’s Wearing John’s Pants?) (BNN)

Michael Gordon Outdoes Judith Miller (Joseph Palermo/HuffPo)

(image: Yana Paskova for The New York Times.  December 31, 2007. nytimes.com)

  • rapier

    Well at least there weren’t any cross hairs. It isn’t news but there are numerous reports that the reporters of the MSM loath Edwards as much or more than they loath Gore. One has to assume this is then the case with editors too.

  • nightbird

    It looks like a “fade to black” circle.

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

    A yes, Michael Gordon, the surviving half of the Miller & Gordon show, you remeber that one, right? The one that brought us Terrorism in August, Nukes in October and War in March (02-03). No wonder he is taking aim at Edwards. Ending his (Gordon and the Neocons’) precious war under any circumstances other than GLORIOUS VICTORY, is wrong, so wrong.

  • http://solarray.blogspot.com gmoke

    On Wolfie B’s show today, I got the distinct impression that Edwards better watch himself at the post-caucus speeches. They are setting him up for a Dean scream moment.
    On a local show’s discussion of Iowa, a Republican operative was anxious to put the shiv in on Edwards, “His latest commercial is scarey, so angry…”
    I guess he doesn’t remember Pat Buchanan’s campaign.

  • Cactus

    It would appear that this type of photography is a trait of Paskova’s work. The subject alone is highlighted, usually off-center, surrounded by a massive area of blackness. However, this one looks to be a bit more sloppy than her other work. It does look like some dodging or photo-shopping was done. So, question is, done by photographer either during or after the shot, or at the behest of the editor. Either way, it was not by accident. Those of particular paranoid mindset could assume the illusion of a rifle sight was the not-so-subtle connection to be made.

  • reb schreber

    Thought the same thing, and this was after hearing “Judy Woodruff” on Lehrer sum up Edward’s plan for DC: “he wants to blow the place up.” The corp.media’s unconsciouses running amok. He’s definitely in their crosshairs.

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