Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
March 24, 2010

Keeping Faith with Bart / Aborting the Press

Obama signing executive order barring health care funds to conduct abortionsk

This photo published on the WH Flickr stream:

1.) “Sends the outrageous message that it is acceptable to negotiate healthcare reform on the backs of women.” (NOW)

2.) ‘Was issued for political effect … and “does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill”.’ (National Right to Life Committee)

3.) proves that Obama is a man of his word.

4.) is the nice picture Robert Gibbs promised would be distributed to demonstrate “transparency.”

5.) proves the cleverness of the White House (social) media strategy in simultaneously publicizing this event and also barring all media coverage.

6.) made it hard to know who these politicians were because the White House did not identify them in the caption and most media reports didn’t name them either.

Caption via Chicago Sun Times:

President Obama signed an executive order on Wednesday to reaffirm that the new health law he signed Tuesday will not allow any federal funds for abortion. Although the event at the White House was closed to the press, the White House did release a photo of the invitees: the anti-abortion House Democrats who voted yes on the health bill after Obama pledged to sign the executive order. The group was led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) fourth from left. That’s Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), third from left.

Invited guests: Senator Bob Casey: Representatives Bart Stupak; Kathy Dahlkemper; Marcy Kaptur; Nick Rahall; Jerry Costello; Chris Carney; Steve Driehaus; Charlie Wilson; Jim Oberstar; Alan Mollohan; Brad Ellsworth; Henry Cuellar; Mike Doyle.

(photo: Pete Souza/White House caption: President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order that reaffirms the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion, in the Oval Office, March 24, 2010. Quotes via LAT)

  • words vs pix

    Bart’s evil twin…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/susandonovan Susan Donovan

    He has multiple pens, that means it is ‘historic.’ That makes me uncomfortable, but I suppose if this was done to please the Democrats present, then why be begrudging about it? Let them smile and collect their ‘historic’ pens. I think of this image vs. the heath care bill. At that signing they 11-year old who was present gave it the feeling of being for “everyone.” –this feels less diverse and more like a back room deal.
    That said I just rather not see a video of it. I know in some ways it “had to” be done. Can’t help agreeing with NOW, that changes what I see in the image, I guess.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/msobel marc sobel

    The HOrrOr. They let a couple of women in. What are people like that doing at an important gathering like this. The don’t have the right parts.

  • ratfood

    Doesn’t the Book of Revelations* predict the Antichrist will be left-handed and that we will know him by the smeared signature on his Executive Orders?
    *audio Book of Revelations as read by Glenn Beck

  • thebewilderness

    Happy white people look on as Segregation is reintroduced through historic executive order. Republicans look forward to expanding traditional insurance segregation regulations into all other aspects of society.

  • http://bibliosquirrel.blogspot.com san antone rose

    NOW is exactly right. Negotiated on the backs of women. I am tired of my uterus being used as a grandstanding ploy.

  • susan

    Bart Stupak prominently positioned. What the heck? Didn’t this C Street dwelling DINO do everything in his power to deprive American women of their reproductive choices? How many Hyde hating pro choice women contributed money, rang doorbells, stuffed envelopes, manned phone banks etc. to get Obama elected?
    Now, we see the anti choice Stupack front and center at the signing ceremony.
    Obama betrays his progressive base at every opportunity.

  • jmac

    “Obama betrays progressive base”. It has nothing to do with limiting abortion. Study after study shows that countries with universal health care have significantly lower abortions than the U.S. It’s a political move to quiet the noise machine of the right – it hurts poor women and it does nothing to reduce abortions.

  • sdv

    I don’t understand why they’re looking at the order – it’s not like any of them know how to read. If they did, they wouldn’t have needed an Executive Order to tell them what the bill already said.

  • http://motherrr.blogspot.com mcmama

    I’m pretty sure President Obama didn’t invite the press to this event because a) he didn’t want to give Stupak and his band of Blue Dog arseholes an opportunity to grandstand, and b) it isn’t important. The order he’s signing is just a placebo for the jerks who’ve been holding up action on the platform of their own party.
    In any case, I have no sympathy for the press – I see them as complicit in our current situation, where the radical right is arming itself and gunning for members of Congress. So, let the press whine. I don’t care.

  • David

    Abortion is still legal and the prevention of funding is contingent upon the Hyde Amendment. If the latter is repealed, the money should start flowing again. Moreoever, money is still available for abortion in the case of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother.
    NOW is foolish to speak out against the bill because it does not allocate federal funds to pay for abortion. Women’s health should not be reduced to whether or not the federal government will pay for an abortion or not.

  • pragmatic realist

    Reminds me most of the French generals signing their surrender in front of Hitler in the Versailles rail car. I see the same look of smug triumph at their “victory” over the President. Whatever else you say about its meaning, they had the votes, they made the other side concede. Without them there would have been no bill. The nation has surrendered to their ideology.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/vcinca vcInCA

    i find it interesting that his desk is empty, especially since The Bag has recently looked at how his desk is often photographed as a working desk. Maybe he didn’t want any of them to see what he was working on? Or, he wanted the appearance that they are peripheral to the majority of his work?

  • yg

    imagine if the bill’s final passage hung on reversing gains made with the civil rights act.
    e.g. “okay, you can have health care, but only if society can be free to be more racists.”
    this is in adherence to an unwritten rule: you can’t have a carrot without a stick.

  • yg

    it’s been admitted somewhere that this desk is reserved for photo-ops. his real work desk is elsewhere.

  • http://www.eshop4watches.com ones

    It’s nearly every woman’s dream to wear precious Cheap Tiffany Jewelrywhich are full of poetic otion and picturesque meaning. In order to pay a tribute to sincere love, Tiffany jewelryspecially presents Replica Tiffany. Simple and generous heart-shape rings can instantly win the heart of your beloved.Just like coiled love, Fashion tiffany jewelryserials are brimming with indelible affectionate feeling which make people extremely intoxicated. Every style of jewelry of Tiffany Banglesserials perfectly captures lovers’Tiffany Bracelets with tiffany’s unique designing Tiffany Cufflinks.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes