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.
January 18, 2010

Brown/Clavin vs. Coakley/Obama (Or: Where Everybody Knows Your Name)

John Ratzenberger Scott Brown.jpg

If you’re measuring by: “the-guy-you’d-most-want-to-have-a beer-with” test, Scott Brown’s PR strategy on Sunday to counter-program the Obama, Kerry and Victoria Reggie Kennedy event with Coakley at Northeastern might not have been much of a contest.

Brown’s campaign replied with a rally at Mechanics Hall in Worcester featuring no political luminaries, as far as I could tell. Instead, the gathering — aiming square at the heart of independent voters and die-hard Boston fans — featured local sports legends Curt Shilling and former quarterback Doug Flutie. And notice, by the way, how thoroughly dressed down people were, especially “the stars” — in another contrast with the “suits,” the connected, the well heeled, the party-branded, and, really, anyone who either works or is from — hint, hint — out of town.

Perhaps the most clever slice of local populism, however, came in the person of John Ratzenberger.

John’s mere presence embodied a layer cake of symbolism, all strategic to Brown’s anti-Washington/anti-elite campaign. As much as the Browns are a TV family (his wife a TV anchor, his daughter an American Idol finalist, Brown himself a former model), Ratzenberger trumps them all, heralding from Boston’s most famous TV family, as one of those lovable, blue-collar characters who made a home of out of the quintessential Boston bar, Cheers.

Just to look at “Cliff” is to think of him as the perfect (and perfected) successor to McCain/Palin’s Joe the Plumber, Cliff Clavin being more the personification of a mailman — and, Brown’s anti-Washington everyman — than any real one you might know.

(9:50 pm PST – slightly revised)

(photo: Robert F. Bukaty/AP. caption: Actor John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff Clavin on the TV show “Cheers,” speaks in support for Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, at a rally in Worcester, Mass., Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010. Brown is running against Democrat Martha Coakley and Joseph Kennedy, a Libertarian who is running as an independent, in a special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left empty by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.)

Comments Powered by Disqus

Refresh Archives

Random Notes