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April 27, 2008

Obama The Alien

Obama-Other-Newsweek-1

Obama-Other-Newsweek-2

Obama-Other-Newsweek-3

(three panel illustration of Newsweek.com’s lead story flash-animation headline)

If The BAG has been concentrating on Newsweek lately, it’s because that publication has taken the lead in visually contorting Obama.  Last week, the mission involved tying Obama to Kerry and branding him a wimp.  This week, the characterization is more odious. 

Overall, this layout goes to town (or, away from town, actually)  by applying the metaphor of being “from the other side of the tracks.” 

>> The fact that Obama has his back to us (an orientation I’ve seen more and more of in the last month or so) emphasizes an “otherness”; an anonymity; a sense of the stranger.  (And then, Obama’s positioning on the opposing platform also clues that he and small town America are moving in opposite directions.)

>> It’s hard not to see race as an element here also.  Maybe it’s not true that the people across the platform are mostly white.  And, maybe that white building has no effect in effecting a color chasm.  Even so, just the reference to black man “on the far side of town” (not to mention, the black man on the outside, looking in) is enough to make the point. 

>> The fact he’s carrying bottled water perhaps also adds an elitist touch? 

One more thing, by the way.

A couple days ago, I blogged about the day-after-Pennsylvania photos of Hillary and Obama on their respective campaign planes.  My thesis there involved the visual media beginning to frame Obama as asocial, a loner, or as someone who sets himself apart.  The problem, however, was that I was fitting the thesis to the image much more than the photo, or the article(s) it accompanied, projected it.

I do think this shot, however — combined with the headline, and also factoring the print cover of this issue — better reflects what I was getting at.  Greasing the tracks, Obama — beyond the ostracization evoked by the racial tropes — might as well be an alien, fundamentally disconnected from society, from the community, from people like “you and me.”

Last Minute Shadow Of Doubt (Shooting Obama — “the stranger” — from behind — TIME, via BNN) 

This issue’s
Arugula and Beer Print Cover with article summaries (BNN)

(image: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images for Newsweek. 2008. newsweek.com)

  • Some Guy

    Really. This is blatant in my view. His otherness relative to what? That is something that is left assumed. He is on the spot, back turned on the viewer, because of who he is. His identity makes him a “problem.” Jesus, is this election over yet?

  • Books Alive

    Here’s McCain, from the back, in today’s NYT. Solitary, and in the halls of power.

  • http://futurebird.livejournal.com/ futurebird

    This is a hit-job.

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    Oh no!!! Obama is a has been!!! Exclusive to Newsweek!!!
    Apparently his fifteen minutes have expired, Newsweek has invited themselves on stage with the hook to drag him off. The guy is finished; toast, waffles, whatever. Look, you can see it at this campaign stop someplace important that Newsweek forgets to mention — no one shows up but a few hecklers. This looks like Dennis Miller’s audience before the producers started paying audiences to sit through his performances.
    Newsweek is reluctant to play the Turk so they also offer the candidate some advice from Karl Rove. You see, since KKKarl is not at the White House anymore he is no longer the totally loathsome creature that will do or say anything to manipulate public opinion for his bosses. People change. Don’t believe me, believe Newsweek.

  • http://kscakes.blogspot.com K

    This is disgusting, and by no stretch of the imagination could it be called journalism.
    How ironic — the very thing that attracts us progressive, liberal, thinking types to Senator Obama is exactly what Newsweek chooses to twist into, “Fear his otherness … fear the change he threatens … fear the progressive thinking he embodies.”
    All I can conclude is, the Powers That Be are terrified that there might just be enough Americans with still highly-functioning and authority-questioning brains to take down their Potemkin Village.
    Hubby and I are Boomers. We have spawned 3 intelligent, liberal, progressive adult children who think, question authority, vote AND marched in local Iraq War protests. They are not afraid of change, progressive thought or people who don’t look like them.
    I pray each night that there are enough of “us” to manage to get Senator Obama elected.
    The philosophies of Senators Clinton and McCain strike fear into my very heart. Either one of them will be GWB all over again.

  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    Wrong side of the tracks, huh?
    Racist bastards.

  • BOB

    I couldn’t agree more with “black dog barking.”
    McCain/Bush doesn’t matter much. Living in Southern California, it amazes me to see how many people still fall into the category, “I’ve made up my mind. Don’t confuse me with the facts.”

  • http://www.typepad.com/t/comments Megalomania

    When Newsweek’s commentator that is a regular on Keith Olbermann, the thin English sounding reporter with boxy glasses like Olbermann, you may know who I mean. He unloaded on a political analytical review of Obama’s Reverend Wright. He characterized Reverend Wright or his pulpit auditory as a “Freak Show”. Wow. Here, it forged a very serious questionable huge race related problem America has been having and is brought forward by Obama vary unwilling. Sean Hannity is beginning to believe and talk about the loaded inconsistencies in Obama’s book ‘Audacity of Hope” with a lot of input from Reverend Wright all that pulled in millions of dollars in royalties.
    Something else, but little talked about was something MSNBC telecast several days ago which blast open a barrier in racist examination no could have ever predicated, but shows in monumental order the race bating cable news has been doing. Brain Williams in a round robin discussion on MSNBC hosted a telecast to be sure will never be aired again. This is true; one of the Black political analysts came forward with a real shot across Integration front, for a primer racist statement. Here, she said Black/ White baby parenting produced prettier babies than Black/ Black baby parenting. Yikes. Well America Integration really has some questions now and MSNBC is avoiding all responsibility about this one, likely some how will blame it on the Clintons. LOL
    Lately O’Reilly unloaded on MSNBC as a side addition exclaiming that the parent Company, GE, is doing business with Iran and the CEO knows it. Specifically mentioning the relationship to the weapons and IED’s used against our troops is perhaps supplied or supported by GE? Sheezam, Wide open treason is implied here. This is a most incredible statement, if true has similar damage as Obama has by all of sudden coming forward to realize his friend Reverend Wright is not the same person he knew twenty years ago. Please that’s like saying Bush is not the same man McCain knew after a few days ago from Bush’s endorsement from McCain.
    For me, this notion of meeting secretly, with his Reverend Wright to censor him then, in the basement before Obama initialized his Senatorial election shows enough hidden energy that Obama, will and, is doing a whole lot that not just as any politician does, but that is ruining the reputation of people of color, especially those of light skin, sneaking and lying about a truth that he himself knew and felt along time ago. It’s incredible that many don’t see this monument flaw in character that failed Martin Luther King’s basic test. No, Obama fail’s Judeo-Christian believes that are ideals made long before MLK. So, here do we have political supporters for Obama very willing to meet in the basement to conjure and scheme political policy for America.
    From my view absolutely disgusting, Obama’s openly displays secret corruption and censure for favorite personal reasons rather then basic to Constitutional values of separation of Church and State. Here, now, as suggested by Sean Hannity Obama is part of a Black Radical movement and trying to separate from it while being caught in it. What was funny was on CNBC money station host Kudlow exclaims that Obama is nothing more than Black Power Lite. Yikes. Will he say that again?
    From my view, all this stuff converging while Obama sits around in mild and calm conversations very separate from the wild ranting that Obama has the potential to do. For me Obama has that Appearance and smile like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sitting or standing with the argument that there was no Jewish holocaust, similarly making that statement with a sublime smile he has nothing to with Reverend Wright after twenty years of close friendly relations. One remembers Obama saying he could not separate himself from this man Reverend Wright as his own Grand mother. I wonder when his Grand mother will get tossed under the bus.

  • Cactus

    It will take someone with more knowledge and a keener memory than I have to dig this out, but I remember this shot from somewhere in the past. Was it an indie film? A Rockwell illustration? Some long-forgotten photo essay? I don’t know, but there is something about this shot that recalls a different time, sometime in the past. It makes me think of the loneliness of the long distance runner. Which, of course, Obama is.
    Thom Hartmann mentioned something last week that intrigued. Obama apparently said (I didn’t hear this) that he would continue to investigate the crimes of the Bush administration. Within one or two days, the corporate/republican media started bashing him without letup. Interesting. I wouldn’t exclude Newsweek from this cabal.

  • http://www.OneLaptopPerStudent.info Bill Clinton
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