No other site reviews and critiques news images as well as publishes original photography — all in the name of helping you become a sharper “visual consumer.” Are you bombarded by powerful images from the world of news, culture and social media? Sign up for our “Week in Re-View” and let us help unpack them for you. Other sites read the words. We read the pictures.

Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
May 30, 2009

I Say Sotomayor, you Say… Lani Guinier (and the Smell of Scandal)



This morning — in showcasing right-wing concerns over Sonia Sotomayor’s “focus on race” — the NYT drew this visual parallel … with Lani Guinier. (The article“Sotomayor’s Focus on Race Issues May Be Hurdle”– also features a close-up photo of an intense-looking (white male) Texas Republican and Judiciary Committee member John Cornyn with the quote: “Justice should be colorblind.”)

Guinier, if you recall, was nominated by Bill Clinton for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in ‘93. The nomination was withdrawn after the right-wing distorted, then flipped-out over her views on voting and civil rights, leading the WSJ editorial board to label her “one of “Clinton’s Quota Queens.” (There’s a good Guinier profile here which is interesting alone for documenting how a nominee can be defamed, then chewed up by the right-wing attack machine.)

This visual offers a nominee “to a top Justice post” and a woman-of-color clutching tight to a roll of papers and looking grim, doggedly ahead and mostly oblivious to a question being posed to her by a (blonde, female and emphatically inquiring) member of the press who has obviously been doing her background research.

Given the darkness, the paparazzi-like feel and, primarily, the sense of controversy and embattlement, this analogy not only sets up Sotomayor as a polarizing racial figure but encourages the consideration that her nomination, as well as she herself, could be headed for trouble over “her racial views.”

(12:55 am PST – slightly edited)

(image: Luke Frazza/AFP – Getty Images)

Comments Powered by Disqus

Refresh Archives

Random Notes