Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
April 20, 2011

Birther Bait (or: Let Campaign ‘12 Begin!)


If the  upcoming NYT Mag article on Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, is deeply researched and nuanced, I’m afraid the newly uncovered family photo accompanying it will be all-too-happily greeted by birthers eager to equate the President to a Somali pirate.

Of course, the Hawaiian photo appears just a day after the surfacing of this hateful photoshop job, produced by a duel GOP and Tea Party leader in Orange Country. In attracting the attention of a mainstream news blogger (big ratings ahead from the more freewheeling side of the house), Marilyn Davenport writes:

“Oh, come on! Everybody who knows me knows that I am not a racist. It was a joke. I have friends who are black. Besides, I only sent it to a few people—mostly people I didn’t think would be upset by it.”

What else is there to say but, let Campaign ‘12 begin!

(photo 1: Friends and family of Stanley Ann Dunham via NYT.  caption: Barack Obama with his mother in Hawaii. photo 2: Marilyn Davenport (via OC Weekly). caption: The image attached to an email distributed among Orange County Republicans and Tea Baggers.)

  • TruGal

    When I look at the picture of the little Barack Obama with his mother, I smile from ear to ear. It’s a beautiful, happy picture.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeffrey-Goldfarb/34603203 Jeffrey Goldfarb

    It is a beautiful photo. Some will see confirmation of their hatreds and fears. Others, I think the majority, will see a photo of an ideal American mother and child photo. Obama’s America versus that of Palin, Trump and company, http://www.deliberatelyconsidered.com/2011/01/dc-year-in-review-democracy-in-america/

  • Glen

    It’s a great article, too, that really illuminates the President’s upbringing and his relationship with his mother. The only thing that bothers me is the reporter’s unseemly dwelling on Ms Dunham’s body-type.

    Someone should get Marilyn Davenport a bigger shovel – she’s digging herself a deep deep hole.

  • http://www.facebook.com/reece.chenault Reece Chenault

    Reminds me of being with my own mom.

    It’s a shame that people in America are so impossibly in love with the idea that “other” equals “animal.”

    Ugh.

  • Adambazer

    It also makes me think Obama should grow a mustache ;-)

  • Kailuahale

    Reminds me of the insult this is to her, as well. Obama’s (American) mother was an extraordinarily intelligent, and compassionate woman who did great work on behalf of 3rd world women. Wish he’s write her “Dreams of…” book.

  • Tempestzzzz

    Campaign ended for me a while back.

    Both photos leave me cold on how they are used to attempt to leverage me or my opinion one way or the other.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes