Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
November 13, 2008

Water Carrier

Gates Arlington 1.jpg

I wish I could say the Defense Secretary was at Arlington Cemetary last July to buck the unstated Administration policy of avoiding Iraq War veteran’s funerals. But I can’t. Instead, Robert Gates was there to participate in the funeral of Dr. Michael DeBakey, the famous heart surgeon and World War II Army veteran.

I know it’s just one small example, but it symbolizes how Robert Gates has been too loyal to the current regime (and previous) to keep around.

All the trappings are here to do justice, but the Secretary just walks on by.

(images: Brendan Smialowski/Getty. Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. July 18, 2008)

  • thomas

    Also, it looks like his head has been rather clumsily burned.

  • Mister Dott

    This is how the administration treats Iraq War Vets and war resisters.

  • wire

    I get annoyed with this sort of criticism, it goes too far, projecting the feelings and wishes of the student of visual media onto the representation of an occasion.
    You all know how the camera works: the ways it exaggerates the minutia of the moment, especially the moments of the body which go unnoticed w/o the stroboscope.
    In this image, the subject is lightly aitbrushed to enhance contrast in the scene and draw the instinctive eye towards what “should” be the subject. This technique is one of the tackiest applications of Photoshop to traditional photography. (Think of the so-called HDR photography–a misniomer–full of grotesque contrast effects which offend the eye; what a blight of the medium).
    I love photography for its quality of representation of the world (external) as forcefully as that the image in the eye/mind of the artist (internal).
    Photography can help us keep it real (community).
    This little BNN quip of a shot goes too far, its meaning being entirely a projection of the mind of the critic.

  • harrier

    Agree with wire’s comments; analysis of media images is one thing, reading a bad photograph like tea leaves to support an agenda is another.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes