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March 31, 2010

Economist Sees Fit to Show Obama Physically Wounded

Economist cover Obama health care.jpg

Seems The Economist got this exactly backward. After a year of taking his lumps, Obama came out of the health care battle relatively unscathed while the GOP — the "party of NO!" — was pretty torn up.

Further, I find the head bandage — out of context like this — not just creepy but eerily consistent with all far-right signs and protests we've seen reproduced in the visual media threatening or suggesting harm to the President.

(photo-illustration: The Economist. photo: not attributed online.)

  • jmac

    He was wounded. If he didn’t help pass health care, he was dead man walking.
    The safety pin seems to imply the fix might be a mixed bag – not quality health care but a bandaged start held together with a temporary fix.

  • Gasho

    I agree with the bag on this. I think visual information is stored in our memories in a very different way and that when we look back at this time years from now, items like this will be reproduced (either in our minds or handed to us physically) and it will define what took place more than, say, a 1000 word essay that will be forgotten.
    He came out of the Healthcare debate with a victory. And he’s stronger for it and it shows. This cover was probably envisioned 2 months ago, when the vibe was that he was taking a beating and it might end up hurting him. After it was said and done, though, it also gave him a positive bump which is really not reflected here at all.
    I can see why you point out the parallels between the bandages and the gun-nut inspired threatening atmosphere right now.. but I don’t see that as much. I hope that nonsense hasn’t become THIS mainstream at this point. I think it has more to do with the Healthcare thing, personally.

  • Gasho

    Eh, I take some of that back. He does have a pretty huge smile on his face, so his victory is actually represented as well.

  • mcmama

    I think the image is just dumb. That’s all.

  • Withnails

    I see a President beaten up, but still smiling, and still fighting.

  • Lindsey Petersen

    Somehow the smile doesn’t match the bandages…

  • Megan

    Does the head bandage echo a turban to anyone else?

  • BamaGuy

    This is disgusting and tasteless. How could an editor pass this concept? When I was ten years old JFK was shot in the head and killed – this image brings all that horror and fear I have for our President’s safety right back.

  • acm

    maybe it’s the distance across the pond — England isn’t as beset by Presidential assasination memories…
    (and yes, it echoes one of the famous turban pics too)
    altogether odd. perhaps bandages were the only way they could think of to indicate health care…

  • yg

    frankly, it looks like the economist is setting up the suggestion somebody take him out with a headshot.
    with all the incitement to violence stirred up by the right, it’s despicable that the economist would feed into it.

  • thomas

    Yes. Most definitely.

  • Zoey & Me

    Some artist was trying to be cute-sy but it’s in bad taste. Yes, it was a struggle but that’s what Presidents get paid for, getting the job done unlike the frat boy who failed at everything. I didn’t really get the feeling it was racist. Just bad taste. Could have made the point “it was a struggle” much more visual with the President offering someone a helping hand. But, that’s show business and that image defines where Journalism is heading.

  • vcInCA

    i interpreted it differently–the bandages look overly photoshoped in, and hence, fake impositions, like they are suggesting that someone is portraying him as hurt & bandaged, but its not true, the actual image (and him) are bandage/hurt free.

  • vcInCA

    btw, looking at the pic again, i didn’t quite scroll up all the way, and the smaller headlines, when you can’t see the top one, spell P-I-S-S going down. i was amused, and wondered if this type of device is ever/often used in media. the headlines themselves seem slightly odd in wording, like they were trying to make them start with particular letters.

  • jane

    looks like the proud, arrogant, narcisistic Beast of The Book of Revelations, with a wound in its head..whatevers not right cannot always remain..

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  • Anonymous

    I hope that nonsense hasn’t become THIS mainstream at this point. I think it has more to do with the Healthcare thing, personally. evden eve nakliyat

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