October 1, 2008
Ifill Attacks: A Real Laugh
Props to the clever photographer for this newswire shot making light of the right-wing attacks on V.P debate moderator Gwen Ifill.
With students standing-in for the candidates during a lighting and sound rehearsal at the debate sight at Washington University, the photographer uses a floor director giving instructions to the mock moderator to mirror the small-minded “drama of the day.”
In this case, the beefy young white guy with the crew-cut, sporting all kinds of credential around his neck, metaphorically “stands in” for the mostly white male pundits currently siphoning off all-too-much oxygen in the media sphere telling Gwen Ifill how it’s gonna be. (The point of all the bluster, of course, was not to get Ifill removed, but to intimidate her into making things easier for Palin.)
What makes the shot, however, are the built-in satirical features. Element one: Mr. Crew-cut isn’t looking “Ms. Ifill” in the eye (just like the right-wingers throwing these wrenches in the direction of a serious journalist couldn’t reasonably pull off a direct gaze toward the public). Element two: the two student stand-ins and the guy in the cut-out seem to be sharing a laugh, the inference being that the situation on stage — just like the basis of the attacks today — are a joke.
(image: Paul J. RichardsAFP/Getty. caption: A floor director instructs unidentified students from Washington University in St. Louis as they stand-in for Moderator Gwen Ifill (back to camera),Vice-Presidential candidates Joe Biden(L) and Sarah Palin(R) during a lighting and sound rehearsal October 1, 2008 at Washington University in St. Louis)