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October 11, 2012

Ryan P90X Photos: Campaign ‘12 in the Tank

Paul Ryan P90X TIME

CSM has fifteen paragraphs or so weighing out the political merits of the Paul Ryan P90X photos. ABC about the same. Like gorging on junk food, news site and blogs are feasting on the Ryan P90X photos. TIME, of course, scores a PR coup by sitting on them for a year only to release them on the eve of the suddenly vital Veep debate. But while (beyond the gawking) an actual pre-debate is on about the nature of the photos and whether they “hurt” or “help,” the net effect is that they are moving the focus and attention span away from the debate, the issues and, particularly,  Ryan’s muscularly extreme budget and abortion agenda.

So, does Ryan really look like a mix of Screech and A.C. Slater? (And no, I had never heard of either before, but now thanks to Campaign ‘12, I do.) And do the photos — as NY Mag asks — compare to the Seinfeld mimbo (didn’t know that reference, either); Woody Allen in a sperm suit; or Dukakis in the tank?

Well, in the latter instance, it doesn’t at all because the Dukakis image, on the level of a resume item, was a genuine (if catastrophic) photo-op attempting to represent the candidate to the American people. In this case, the fact NY Mag would even liken the two reflects what’s so messed up. The photo of Ryan was taken almost a year ago, the context: the Congressman posing as a runner up for TIME’s media-created “Person of the Year.” If these photos demonstrated any relevance about Ryan’s background or identity (like, say, the photos of then Senate candidate Scott Brown modeling for Cosmo), that would be one thing. But they don’t. Essentially, the Ryan photos are a goof. And the fact they would be elevated like this the day before the debate, so much so they would win the internet, is a cynical act — one suggesting to an already disillusioned public that this campaign deserves no better.

(photo: Gregg Segal for TIME. caption: An outtake from the Paul Ryan photo shoot—which was inspired by Ryan’s own Facebook photos that showed him working out with P90X creator Tony Horton.)

  • Monet

    I need to hurl.

  • Catherine McCallum

    Yeah. Me, too.

  • piratepat

    Goober, from MayBerry. Lord have mercy on us.

  • bresson

    The backwards baseball hat, the ear pods, the (in Ryan’s mind) smug look, the mere use of something as trendy and pricey as P90x — all scream ‘Overprivileged Frat Boy Douchebag.’ To today’s Republicans, that’s a good thing, something they interpret as confidence. Both interpretations are belied by Ryan’s clenched lizard lips, furrowed brow, and protruding eyes. The face doesn’t lie here – he’s straining after affect, a dork trying way too hard to look ‘cool.’ (Your own notion of what ‘cool’ is may vary.)

  • jonst

    Ok Michael, I take back what I wrote earlier… there is really nothing else to write….this IS a picture of an “ignorant white guy”! LOL This moron would be President? If so, the Republic is DOOMED. Or, should be doomed, anyway.

  • Cactus

    This is a man who is so insecure that his body can barely
    contain his ego. If this sounds incongruous, it is. He lives in a bubble of
    fundamental religious certitude that, like his running mate, has no room for
    understanding how those less fortunate must live. Only someone inside such a
    secure and unchallenging bubble can exude such defiant smugness. And only
    someone like him would agree to partner with a sociopath.

    Out here in the real world, one can only remark on how a man
    with such ambition, as he apparently has, could let himself be photographed as
    if he were a weight-lifting punk actor.

  • black_dog_barking

    All of a sudden Sarah Palin is looking nearly presidential. Yet another example of the Republican drive to fuck up harder each and every day.

  • irishdave3

    The GOP workout results in reduced body facts…Kid Malarky comes in at 6% for example.

  • Glennis Waterman

    All he needs are a pair of Naughty Monkey red pumps.

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