Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
September 18, 2010

Michelle O: More Incoming Fire?

Well, US media is already spilling pixels (1, 2, 3, 4) on a quote attributed to Michelle Obama that was just published in a trashy unauthorized French Carla Bruni biography. Allegedly, Michelle told Carla that being First Lady is “hell.” If that’s the flimsy back story, what it also is is an invitation to another round of attacks after the right-wing and the media teamed up in castigating Michelle’s recent trip to Spain.

What’s the take away, beyond “cat fight,” from this Telegraph photo? Well, how about this Bruni nonsense setting up Michelle Obama again as a shallow narcissist and angry black woman?

(photo: Reuters. caption: Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy attend a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings.)
  • black dog barking

    Looks like the gloves are about to come off, the fur’s about to fly. Or, it looks like something has happened stage right to distract the First Lady’s attention at a somber gathering. What we believe we see is informed by what we think we already know. Everything I’ve ever seen of Michelle Obama radiated intelligence and respect, so I give the First Lady the benefit of the doubt for these few milliseconds. She’s earned it.

  • jonst

    Hey Bag, what makes something “trashy” by your standards? Just curious.

    She strikes me, as do most politicians, as a raging narcissist. But important, to me, anyway, is that she was an IP lawyer….and the Obama Admin position on IP, in general, is, IMHO, even worse, if that is possible, than the Bush Admin position.

    I wonder what, if any, influence she has on IP policy? Perhaps none…..but still. Nah, I don’t like her one bit.

    • DennisQ

      IP? Is that internet protocol? Surely the Obama administration doesn’t have a separate policy on International Paper?

      This is obviously an important term to somebody.

  • jonst

    Ah, nope, it’s not International Paper. MMMMM…. try intellectual property. Does that sound familiar to you? I guess not, or you would have known it. So, I assume IP policy is not all that important to you.

  • Wordsmith

    I’d be willing to lay down REAL money that Michelle Obama didn’t say any such thing. She’s pretty well aware, I am sure, of the scrutiny she comes under and how misplaced it is. I’ve NEVER been a fan of Mr. Sarkozy and even less so of Carla Bruni.

    jonst: An FYI: IP could mean many things just as FYI could beyond ‘for your information.’ I work in medicine where acronyms abound and are often misinterpreted. So attempting to insult someone’s intellectual prowess is, how to say this tactfully, pretty damned presumptuous.

  • jonst

    yeah wordsmith…..LOL…..anything you say…..

    • Wordsmith

      Oh yeah – well here, Mr. Smarty-Pants (or Ms…can’t remember)

      …. see here.

  • Matthew

    Black dog barking has it right. As a photojournalist this is completely out of context – we have no idea what she is looking at and is not cropped as a legitimate story. The angle needs to be wider to see the entire picture. If you think anything else you are living with blinders on.

  • Glenn May

    Obviously a certain segment of the American population has been dying to get in a few shots on Michelle. Any woman who is anywhere near power in the U.S. who isn’t a faux Barbie Doll or a Stepford Wife is going to get hers. So imagine adding “black” to “uppity woman” and you have a recipe for vitriol that will make the attacks on Hillary and Nancy seem like southern hospitality. All that is needed is any tiny slip-up. Of course if the little gaffe is true (can you imagine living a life where someone is just waiting for you to slip up?), no matter. We all saw what happened when her husband had the audacity to tell the truth about guns and the Bible.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes