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September 5, 2008

RNC Packaging


With the traditional media largely swallowing the visual propaganda of the Republican Convention, this shot by Shannon Stapleton does an elegant job of calling it out.

Either side of this image would have been compelling enough.  In the left half, you see Sarah Palin as a glossy construction appearing larger-than-life and made-for-the-screen.  On the right side, you have the juxtaposition of the veteran delegate holding up the peace sign in the name of John McCain.  With McCain’s acceptance speech, as well as many of the fourth night RNC speeches and videos notable for fixating on fear and militarism, the peace sign reflecting the hypocrisy.  Of course, the contradiction is pointed at Palin too, as a new star being packaged as wholesome and maternal when in fact, she has proved almost singularly combative and warlike.

(image: Shannon Stapleton/AP. St. Paul, Minnesota September 4, 2008)

  • black dog barking

    The sign’s “Peace” printed white on a blood red background visually cues us to the double-speak. There’s an entire second message encoded in superficially safe acts of language, a chorus of winks and nods passing unspoken from believer to believer. Sort of like Sen Craig’s tap dance in the airport bathroom there in the Twin Cities except here they are forming public opinion and policy.

  • mudkitty

    The sign makes the photo Orwellian.

  • mj

    “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.”
    George W. Bush

  • mj

    “No, I know all the war rhetoric, but it’s all aimed at achieving peace.”
    George W. Bush
    more of the same indeed

  • mj

    Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said the team of nearly two dozen staffers at the opposition headquarters will be “fact-checking” statements made by the Obama campaign and by speakers during the convention.
    “Just consider this the Ministry of Truth,” quipped Dick Wadhams, chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

  • mj

    War is Peace.
    Ignorance is Strength.. rings true with their base

  • Kit (Keep It Trill)

    I think the subtlety of what you and most of your readers see will be lost on that crowd. They live by ‘doublethink’ and are like Orwellian characters out the book 1984, where War = Peace.

  • tina

    the young face of Palin is projected onto a screen, while in the foreground looms the elderly face of an angry baby boomer era vet–the conservative face of the real Republican party. Sarah is just a prettied up image, and it really shows in this brilliant photo. What Repubs truly are is not on the teevee, just the images they want us to see.

  • mj

    I’ve read and watched the movie 1984 only a year ago and was a little shocked at how it reflects what’s going on today. Orwell wrote it as a warning but some took it as a playbook. The republicans even reference it, calling their news room “The Ministry of Truth,” also with Romney referencing Big Brother.
    The large screen behind the speakers, showing their faces looks just like Big Brother in Hate Week watching everyone. Also the images of 9/11, etc gets the crowd fired up just like in the book/movie also..
    Compare it to this screenshot from the movie…

  • KansasKowboy

    Just a guess but I wouldn’t doubt if the flip side of that sign said Bomb Iran

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