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 & the analysis of news images.
September 9, 2009

Obama's Health Care Address to Congress: Townhall Redux


As if August never ended…. While simultaneously reaching across the aisle and also challenged conservatives to act like grown-ups, Obama’s health care speech before Congress brought still more troubling visuals.

What Plan?.jpg

In line with Rep. Joe Wilson shouting out “liar” when Obama made assurances about illegal aliens and access to services, Congressmen carried town hall teabagging resistance tactics into the chamber by waving the Republican Healthcare Reform Plan in attention-seeking unison and sporting aberrant looks and the crudely hostile home-scribbled sign.

Update 8:26pm PST:


It might be overstated to liken Wilson’s action to domestic terrorism, but the U.S. Congress isn’t the House of Parliament and his shocking breach of decorum created not only a disturbing moment, but even a fearful one. And that’s what terrorism is about, isn’t it — instilling chaos and fear at an opportune moment against a high profile target?

As raised in the discussion thread, you could see Pelosi’s anxiety and worry until the moment clearly passed. I, too, felt a lingering anxiety until the end of the speech wondering if some other rupture was going to occur. Ultimately, Wilson apologized to the White House saying his emotion got the better of him. It’s that escalated right wing “emotion” (read: fanaticism), however, so nakedly showcased on a national stage, that’s getting the best of democracy.

(edited 9 and 11:30 pm pst)

(image 1 & 3: BNN screengrab via MSNBC. image 2: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. U.S. Capitol September 9, 2009. Washington, D.C.)

Comments Powered by Disqus