Sep 27, 2005

Katrina Aftermath: And Then I Saw These

(Update: 7.28.05 12:31 a.m. PST:  Due to the keen interest in this series, all the photos have been reposted at a larger size, and numbered for easier reference. Also, Alan Chin welcomes all questions via the comment thread -- critical or otherwise.)




Until last night, I thought the news images we had seen from New Orleans during the worst days of Katrina were fundamentally unvarnished.  And then I saw these.

Among his peers, Alan Chin is regarded as one of the finest photojournalists in the field -- and I say that not just because he is a friend of this site. What these photos do is bear witness to much of the information that was reinforced through the written word. At the height of the disaster, we saw scenes of suffering, but were primarily told how bitter, annihilating and incomprehensible it was. We saw death, but were told it was everywhere.  Also, we saw scenes of dignity and of contempt -- but not quite as boldly as this.

Two of these images ran in the September 19th issue of Newsweek, and Alan has graciously made the series available to the BAG.  Speaking to him last night, he felt it was vitally important that people understand how serious a failure of government had occurred in New Orleans.  "I mean," he said, "the Indonesians had a tsunami, and they still handled it a hundred times better."

From the standpoint of this site, and my focus on visual politics and media, I asked Alan if he thought there had still been a "filter" on Katrina.  I asked because these pictures seem that much more raw.  Not surprisingly, his answer illuminated the difference it made that most of the news photos were in color.  Chin explained:

"I shot it in black-and-white because we live in America, so no matter what happens, we always have visual elements that are very distracting.  I was one of the only people who did this in black and white.  I felt it should not be distracted by color, by the fact someone might have been wearing a hot pink t-shirt.  I didn't want that irony in it.  I wanted to get to the heart of the matter -- to the crucial thing."

If you were following the BAG last June, you might recall the intellectual equivalent of a brush fire that broke out here over a photo Alan took for the NYT  (Punching Up The Orange - link). Chin had been included in a joint American - Iraqi raid in the town of Mahmudiya, and BnN readers had a lot of questions about the success of the operation, the coherence of the military strategy, the procedures and ethics of embedding journalists, and even the production value of the photo itself.  But what made the discussion so worthwhile was that Alan suddenly popped up in it, burning up the keyboard from various Baghdad safe houses over several days, taking on all matter of civil (and even some less-than-civil) questions and comments.

Once again, Alan has kindly offered to make himself available to discuss his work.  Therefore, as you comment, feel free to offer him any question you like regarding any and all the photos, what he saw, or how they were obtained.  Alan emphasizes that he is not shy about criticism, so say what you will.  Of course, I thank Alan for trusting his images to the BAG.

(Gallery: Click for larger version)

4Chinno006  5 Chinno001  6Chinno012

  7Chinno002  8 Chinno015  9 Chinno008

10Chinno003  11Chinno004 12 Chinno022

13Chinno013 14 Chinno016 15 Chinno005

16Chinno020 17 Chinno021 18 Chinno017

19Chinno019 20 Chinno025 21 Chinno035

22Chinno027  23 Chinno026Rev

24Chinno32 25 Chinno33 26 Chinno29-1

To inquire about purchasing one of these images, or any of Alan Chin's work, please contact: Sasha Wolf Photographs.)

(All images courtesy of Alan Chin/Gamma.  New Orleans. 2005.  Posted by permission.  For more on Alan Chin: Portfolio. Kosovo Diary. Contact:

Dec 07, 2004

Chemical Reaction


The exciting news last week was the stunning announcement that Dow Chemical was finally taking full responsibility for it's role in the Bhopal chemical disaster. A spokesman for the company made the declaration in an interview on BBC news, issuing a formal apology to the victims and declaring that the company had decided to compensate victims for the entire $12 billion of estimated damages. "The 120,000 people that are estimated to need medical care because of the Bhopal catastrophe are going to need it for their whole lives," the spokesman said. "They've already needed it for 20 years."

The unfortunate news? The statement was a hoax perpetrated by the performance activists and corporate provacateurs, the Yes Men -- and none of it was true.

The Bhopal factory (formerly owned by Union Carbide, now a subsidiary of Dow) paid $407 million to Bhopal residents in 1989. Besides disavowing the statement, the company reemphasized it position that it bears no legal culpability and owes nothing to anyone.

You may take issue with the tactic, but these guys have been advocating for Bhopal victims for years, and have made a real contribution toward keeping the story in the news, and maintaining pressure on those who would avoid responsibility.

You can view the BBC interview, and the Yes Men's account and explanation here.

(image: BBC)

Oct 30, 2004

More Explosives


Here's the ABC television segment showing members of the 101 Airborne inspeciting explosives at Al Qaqaa before they went missing.

View Quicktime clip here.


Oct 28, 2004

Bush To Explode?


What you might well be looking at are the explosives that took down the Bush presidency.

Wouldn't that be poetic justice?

The WMD actually found Bush.

Apparently, a camera crew from the ABC station in Minneapolis, embedded with an Army unit, actually documented U.S. soldiers going through the munitions dump at Al Qaqaa. Given the date of the visit -- April 18, 2003 -- the weapons could not have been removed prior to the war or the American occupation (as the administration asserts).

American soldiers not only commented on the vast extent of the explosives, the video purportedly documents their intention to abandon the site without securing it in any way.

If this breaking scandal doesn't merit front page treatment in the Ohio papers I highlighted yesterday, I don't know what would.

Latest NYTimes coverage here.
ABC affiliate KSTP site here. (Video available for Microsoft player)


Baghdad, Ohio (11/2/04 minus 5)

If bad news in Iraq spells bad news for Bush, then Wednesday wasn't a very good day. Looking at the crucial battleground of Ohio, here is a sample of the state's larger newspapers, along with the type and number of war-related articles on the front page.

(Dayton Daily News)

(Dover-New Philadelphia Times-Reporter)

(Toledo Blade)

(Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Akron Beacon Journal)

(Cincinnati Enquirer)

(Columbus Dispatch)

As a footnote, the Washington Post reports Kerry leading in newspaper endorsements, 142 to 123 (with 36 papers bailing on Bush after having supported him over Gore).

Interestingly, the article mentions three of the papers above. One, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, decided not to make an endorsement after having backed Bush in 2000. Two others, the Cincinnati and Columbus papers, give Bush the nod.

But my question is, what does it say about your chances when the two largest Ohio papers that endorsed you show up with three negative Iraq stories each on the front page just five days before the election?


Oct 25, 2004

Cheap Shot of the Day


Yahoo/AP offers this shot of Bill Clinton "greeting audience members" at a rally for John Kerry at Love Park, Philadelphia--of all places.

The rally, by the way, drew over 100,000 people.

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Oct 21, 2004

A Real Cell Job


In the latest Newsweek, the cover story is devoted to the stem cell debate. The thesis of the article is that this topic actually has the power to tip the election.

Any marketing person knows that there are generally two great motivators: fear and sex. Of course, in the current frenzied election environment, the stem cell topic is a natural for the news seller. On one side, you've got the general fear of science gone amok. On the other side, you've got the political hysteria about genetic farming and tampering with embryos.

Certainly, the lead story does its scary best on the political end. The text does a fine job. And the pictures -- which is where I place a lot of my attention -- are good too. I found many effective contributions: On the first facing page is a rather dark picture of a woman holding up her daughter who is suffering from juvenile diabetes. Both stare into the camera with guilt inducing expressions that almost cry out for some kind of prosecution. The second page has a dark, close up picture of a more-wrinkled-than-usual Laura Bush. The fourth page has a discomforting shot of a priest (in this case, an actual Archbishop) posed in front of a wooden cross hanging on a stark wall.

But that's all standard stuff. What I'm particularly interested in is the way Newsweek uses the other articles to tap into (and exploit) deeper anxieties about the stem cell issue. The "hook" to effect this is a special feature in the issue called "Next Frontiers," which highlights new developments in science and technology.

Here, what you find are a number of articles that, I believe, subliminally tie-back to the stem cell piece. For example, there's a write-up labeled "How to Program A Cell" which mentions how scientists are "starting to tinker" with genes and human bacteria. Remarkably, there is one line that says: "Scientists can even program cell colonies to grow into circles or hearts in the petri dish."

(What, did somewhat say "they" can grow hearts in a dish!!)

The centerpiece of this section, however, is an article about the film "The Polar Express" and advancements in movie special effects. If you noticed, there is a teaser for it on the magazine's cover.


It's in this article, I believe, where the worries raised in the stem cell feature really get expressed. The discussion may be about digital --as opposed to biological--manipulation, but the story goes out of its way to suggest the genie is leaving the bottle. The article talks about the power to capture and replicate muscles, bones, joints, fingers and skin. It refers to the creation of "fake people" that are "indistinguishable from real ones." There is even reference to the development of a "photoreal male human" that the magazine was made privy to, but is otherwise still a secret. The piece concludes with the assurance that, given the funding, some maverick is going to finally find a way to duplicate reality.

After unearthing these cross connections, it's interesting to re-examine the magazine's cover. If you study it more closely, the portrait of Christopher Reeves and his wife is really bizarre. Reeves' wife, Dana, is looking directly at the viewer, and appears quite life-like. On the other hand, Reeves -- who almost everybody seeing this picture acutely realizes is newly dead -- has a fixed stare and the waxy look of an automaton. Add in the fact that his profile (on page 50) identifies him not by his name but by the not-human, biologically reconfigured character of "Superman" (the film role he was most known for), and you can start to get a little confused as to who (or what) you're looking at -- not to mention, what we're getting ourselves into with all this stem cell business.

Once you've taken it this far, the shot of Hanks in the upper corner starts to fit right in. It's easier to see if you think of the cover like a movie poster. There's Reeves, the star, as a disembodied, genetically-recombined ghost. And there's Hanks, his co-star, playing the role of a mutation.

So, what is the feeling they're trying to leave you with? Maybe Reeves is a warning, and Hanks knows something that he's not telling.

Oct 18, 2004

Draft THIS!



You might have seen this already.

If not, check out Ohio Representative Tim Ryan's comments on the House floor before a vote to restore the military draft. The consensus view is that this is the kind of guy / passion / language the Dems need more of.

Link here.

(source: nobushin04)
(thanks: Lindsey)

Sep 21, 2004

On Why Iraq -- With 17 Large Cement Factories And A Strong Cement Export History -- Is Now Importing The Stuff


Social justice activist Naomi Klein appeared on Democracy Now yesterday to elaborate on her recent article in Harpers Magazine ("Baghdad Year Zero: Pillaging Iraq in Pursuit of a Neocon Utopia."). Describing the "economic front" of the war, she casts light on why so little of the $18.4 billion in redevelopment funds have been allocated in Iraq, and why so little reconstruction has taken place. Her contention is that a privatization agenda effectively disenfranchises Iraqi's from participation in their own economy. (Here's a summary and debate on the article at Internet Infidel's.)

The video segment is almost 26 minutes long. The part with Naomi Klein begins 2:30 into the clip and runs eight minutes. The balance of the clip, by the way, deals with a film that Klein and her husband, Avi Lewis, have just finished called "The Take" about how plant workers in Argentina reclaimed a factory that had worked in that had been shut down in the government economic collapse.

Real Player clip: 128k; 256k


Sep 14, 2004

Killian Me Softly (...Or: The Rebuttal to the Attack of the Defense of the Original Charge)


If you've been following this, here is the CBS rebuttal to the charges that the Killian documents are false. I have a number of takes:

1.) This whole affair just reveals how marginalized, desperate and sad the network news divisions have become.
2.) The Dem/GOP obsession with historical facts and character assassination is another example of how both parties are avoiding the country's real problems.
3.) Why get so hot-and-bothered over the fine details. All you have to do is look at the way Bush and the White House people are starting to equivocate and parse their language on Bush's service record to understand the true story. It's just following the same pattern as the backsliding and linguistic revisionism over why we went to war.
4.) The blogosphere continues to gain currency -- particular as a mechanism for (mainstream) media vetting.

QuickTime DSL | 56K
Windows Media DSL | 56K

(video source:

Sep 08, 2004

Caught Off Guard


Although the milestone of 1000 Iraq War battlefield deaths had been approaching, who would have expected that a sudden one-day 14 person loss, coupled with a next-day 7 person loss would accelerate its arrival.

The NYTimes, which is usually "money in the bank" for trumpeting such things, did mention the event in it's lead story this morning, but in the context of an update about the war, and only in the subhead. The LA Times, perhaps because it prints later, did catch the relevance of the milepost, and featured it in the right column lead. However, the story had only half the width of the one in the far left column, titled: "Cheney Warns of Risk if Rivals Win."

The most telling reaction to the milestone, however, involved the administration. Bush had no reaction -- not officially or unofficially. Left to speak for the government, Rumsfeld made reference only to the number, not the event. The number of deaths, he observed, was actually "relatively small" given the risks.

My first reaction was, if my son or daughter had been one of those thousand, I'm not sure that would have provided much comfort.

Sep 07, 2004

Zellous Response



As you can tell, Zell Miller's poltergeist moment at the RNC had quite an impact on me (as it had on many others).

As a result, I thought I'd post a couple of choice clips that shouldn't go unnoticed. The first is the crazed interview Miller gave to Chris Matthews after his speech in which he challenges the Harball host to a duel. The second is from a DNC press conference in which Terry McAuliffe bluntly sets the record straight on Mr. Miller.

Harball Quicktime video
McAuliffe Quicktime broadband, dial-up

(Hardball source: / McAuliffe source:

Aug 31, 2004

The Convention That Ate The Media

One of the most interesting themes of the Republican Convention is the way the GOP has railroaded the media. (This is in addition to the fact the conventions are hardly available to a wider audience, and the prime time speeches are timed to prevent even a moment of analysis.)

Basically, they Republican's are pursuing two tracks. First, they continue to reinforce the idea that the press is antagonistic to the President. Rudy Giuliani's speech, for example, listed the press in a line up of adversaries faced by the Bush Administration. It doesn't matter what the press does to belittle him, Giuliani told the delegates, the President has stuck to his convictions. The press, he went on to remind, did the same to Reagan.

Nobody does a better job of reinforcing the conception of press bias than the razor-tongued Barbara Bush. Watch this clip from Democracy Now of a meeting this week of "W Stands for Women." The meeting was attended by female members of the Bush and Cheney family, as well as women delegates and party officials. (The segment makes up the first two-and-a-half minutes.)


Quicktime 128k, 256k

The second part of the strategy involves the appropriation of the media by the party. In the distorted reality of the Bush administration (in which a countervailing fact is recognized as nothing more than a practical inconvenience), the Republicans have taken the next logical step of creating a pretend media for the convention. Labeled video jockeys, the party has drafted a group of attractive young women who rove the convention conducting pretend interviews with delegates and officials that are broadcast within the hall, as well as hosted on the RNC website. If you've been watching the C-SPAN coverage, it's hard not to look at those microphones these women are toting around, with their RNC labels, without being reminded of similar combinations of letters, like NBC or ABC.


I tried to capture one of the video interviews of the Republican VJ team, but they are mostly in Real Player. Here (above) is a shot of the "correspondents" preparing for the convention, and a link to their page on the GOP Convention site (which features an introductory clip).

(source: Democracy Now)

Aug 15, 2004

"Outfoxed" Meets "Tim Russert" (or: O'Reilly Gives Krugman the unFair and unBalanced Treatment)


On "Tim Russert" last weekend, Fox's Bill O'Reilly was invited to debate NYTimes Columnist Paul Krugman. Afterwards, O'Reilly insisted that he had bested Krugman. So, what's the truth?

Borrowing a similar methodology used in Outfoxed to expose the network's bias, the film's co-producer Jim Gilliam gave the O'Reilly-Krugman "debate" a similar once-over. In this amusing video clip, Gilliam splices together highlights of the show, adding titles to clarify facts whenever O'Reilly takes liberties with them. It's an interesting editorial technique, and a revealing look at how much talking heads (especially the pompous B'OR) can get away with.

Quicktime clip: 56K, 200K

Aug 03, 2004

Are Right-Wingers Shoving The Women's Vote? -- Part 2


Did Fox Reporter Chris Wallace go too far in comparing Teresa Heinz Kerry to Eva Peron? Immediately following her convention speech, Wallace was openly mocking, saying that: "[B]y the end, I half expected her to break out into 'Don't Cry for Me, Argentina.'"

The following clip is from Bill O'Reilly's July 29th interview with Ms. magazine editor, Elaine Lafferty. In making a very lame-sounding defense of Wallace's remark, O'Reilly only gets FOX in deeper, saying: "I don't think anybody watching this broadcast tonight, with the exception of you and the Ms. magazine babes, are offended by that comment."

The more popularity Kerry gains with the political middle, backed by strong immigrant and female Democratic voices, the more strongly the (increasingly desperate) right wing seems to respond with race-baiting and gender-baiting sentiments.

Windows Media


Are Right-Wingers Shoving The Women's Vote? -- Part 1


Even though Maureen Dowd is no fan, it appears that reaction to Teresa Heinz-Kerry is cutting both ways. Although her outspoken nature turns a lot of people off, she also seems to be developing a following among women voters--particularly in reaction to criticism of her.

If you haven't seen the video clip of her encounter with Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Colin McNickle, you can view it here. It's clear that McNickle misquoted Heinz-Kerry, and then confronted her for saying something she never said. You can question her for getting in his face, but you can just as easily credit her for taking the kind of aggressive stance that is standard operating procedure for conservatives.

Beyond the obvious, though, there is apparently more to the story. It seems the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Mr. McNickle have been on Teresa's case for more than ten years. According to a background piece on Alternet, the paper is extremely right wing, and has pursued the Heinz Endowment nearly to the point of harassment. When you consider the background, it looks more like the reporter intended to bait the strong-willed Heinz-Kerry.

To view the video, see the Real Player link to the right of the article at, here.

(link source:currenteventsmonitor)

Jul 11, 2004

Bush and Lay: Young and Old Alike


Of course, the right is quick to point out that President Bush's friendship with Ken Lay is hardly a crime.

If you get to see the documentary, The Corporation, however, you will appreciate how, in the overlap of business and government interests, there is a thin line between association and collusion. In the case of Bush and Lay, there is enough smoke to suggest a more combustible situation here. Right around the time Lay was exerting influence in setting the Cheney/Bush energy policy, and the administration was running interference for Enron (by way of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commision) during California's manufactured "energy crisis."

To highlight the sympathies between George and Ken,The Smoking Gun has published The Bush-Lay letters.

(link source: growabrain)

Jul 10, 2004

The Osama Vote


Let the slimefest begin!

Apparently, one of the jaded themes that has entered the election narrative is that bin Ladin is supporting Kerry. In this video clip from two days ago, Chris Matthews propagated the idea that al Qaeda was motivated to launch a pre-election attack in order to 'get rid of a pro-war government.' The idea has also been talked up by other conservative commentators. In this instance, Mr. Hardball is shown pushing the theory at two different senators, John Breaux (D-LA) and Richard Shelby (R-AL).

clip: Windows Media
clip: MPEG-4


Jun 26, 2004

Pluck Of The Irish: Bush Faces Real Interviewer...For A Change

Can you name the one journalist in the world who has been able to publicly go toe-to-toe with President Bush over the war on Iraq? 

Her name is Carole Coleman and she's a correspondent for RTE, the Irish television network.  In a lead-up to Bush's visit to Ireland earlier this week, Coleman sat down with GWB for an 11 minute interview.  Looking thoroughly unintimidated, Coleman strongly challenged Bush on his policies.  To fend her off, Dubya monopolized the conversation, going through his typically scripted responses.  Unfazed, Coleman tried several times to challenge "W" on the assumptions underlying his statements.  Most times this occurred, Bush cut her off, either demanding to be heard or chastising her for not letting him finish.

Although Bush emerged unscathed, the interview presented an impressive contrast to the patronizing (or grandstanding) interviews that American journalists have held with Dubya.   It was also interesting to actually see someone attempt to call Bush on the discredited claims he continues to repeat. 

Even though Bush refused to flinch, the hostility and pettiness of the President was clearly demonstrated two days later when Laura Bush cancelled her interview with the network.

View the interview here, or visit to the RTE news program page here.

Jun 18, 2004

North Goes South As Neocons Decompensate. Media The Big Target

The neocons are beginning to melt down over the results of their policies. Some of the reactions we are now seeing are nothing short of dissociative. Just witness Dick Cheney's bizarre reaction to the 9/11 Commission yesterday. In the face of overwhelming, and now authoritative evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda were not working together, the Veep has been reduced to the most primitive "are you going to believe me, or your own eyes" defense. (When asked if he somehow had evidence that the 9/11 Commission was not aware of, his answer was "probably.")

In these reactions, one trend that is emerging involves irrational attacks on the press. According to this "logic," if discrepancies exist in facts or breakdowns occur in policy, it is now the media's fault.

In comments that can only be labeled as embarrassing, the Vice President described the media as "lazy." (Basically, his explanation for why the link between Iraq and al-Qaeda has not been discovered yet is because the media "hasn't done its homework.")

This "media displacement" can also be seen in the recent comments of Oliver North. On FOX the other day, North made the argument that the investigation into prison abuse at Abu Ghraib is fueling abductions, and that by perpetuating the story, the media shares culpability in the hostage deaths.

If events for Bush and Cheney continue to go badly, expect every attempt to bring the media down with them.

North video clip: Windows media player
North video clip: mpeg-4


Jun 16, 2004

We're Diplomats and Military Commanders, And We Can't Take It Anymore

Today, a coalition of diplomats and military commanders (the DMCC) formally launched a campaign to undo the damage caused by the Bush administration. The group, consisting of 27 (and counting) chiefs of mission and retired four-star military brass called for changes in our foreign policy and defense policy, as well as removal of the current President and his governing team.

For the statement issued today and a list of signatories, click here. The group is just getting a website together (here). More significantly, I urge you to view the video of the news conference held today at the National Press Club. You're not going to find a more expert, thoughtful and sober group of people.

Real Player high speed (here)
Real Player dial up (here)
Windows Media high speed (here)
WindowsMedia dialup (here)

or: National Press Club webcast page

Jun 08, 2004

Abu Ghraib R Us

Joe Previtera, a twenty one year old student at Boston College, was arrested Wednesday after dressing as a hooded Iraqi prisoner in front of a military recruitment center on Tremont St. in downtown Boston. Apparently, police weren't amused by the political statement.

Previtera faces misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and felony charges of making a false bomb threat and using a hoax device. According to the IndyMedia story: "The charges apparently reflect the District Attorney's concern that Mr. Previtera might have been mistaken for a terrorist [although] (w)itnesses say that passersby seemed unconcerned by Mr. Previtera's actions."

For more pictures and personal account, click here.

(>>Referral courtesy of guest blogger: Karen, here.)

Jun 02, 2004

Leading Photos: Feeling Crowded?

How do you read this picture that the Washington Post chose for their cover this morning? Photos other papers ran of new Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawer were much more regal and uncomplicated. Here are a few takes:

>>Shadowy figure in background highlights al Yawer as security target.

>>Leadership situation in Iraq still, basically, a "cast of thousands."

>>If you don't provide a hand to the big boys, expect to get squeezed, overshadowed.

>>We were pulling for the other guy, so you're a little obscure.

(image: newseum)

May 17, 2004

Unmeet The Press

It wasn't that long ago that the Bush handlers owned the news. You could frame Bush in front of Mt. Rushmore, have him fly onto aircraft carriers, wave off any reality with just the promise of resolve.

In another excellent piece this weekend in the NYTimes, Frank Rich discusses the sad fate of the White House reality-making apparatus. As a metaphor, he point out how Jessica Lynch and Pfc. Lynndie England have become bookends in a "public relations Presidency" that has almost completely derailed. Further evidence of this was in plain view this weekend, when a press handler for Colin Powell tried to yank him off Meet The Press in mid-broadcast. "I've been doing this program for 13 years and nothing like that has ever happened," Russert said afterward.

Here's a link to the Quicktime version on houseofwarwick.
Here's the MSN video link if you have Windows.
(If you have trouble with any of the links above, Lisa Rein's mirrors the video from three sources.)
Here is the transcript as it appeared in the Drudge Report.
(photo from Daily Telegraph)

May 14, 2004

I'll See Your 'Prisoner On A Leash,' And I'll Raise You 'One Beheading'

If you've been following this blog, you know that I've been taken with Newsmap, a utility that provides a pictorial snapshot of the Google News aggregator,

As you can imagine, the map has been dominated by stories about the Abu Ghraib pictures for a week now. With the Berg story "gaining size," however, you get the sense that a Bush/Rove -- al Queda firefight has suddenly broken out on the infographic battlefield.

Because the two biggest cells above are taken up by the Berg story, you could say that Rove/Bush currently have the upper hand (at least, as of 12:04 p.m.). Take note, however, of the story further to the right: "New Polls Show Support For Bush Has Slipped To New Lows." Because this story reflects attitudes rather then just passing events, it's possible to say that, even if Bush/Rove "win" today's map, they are still losing the visual war.

(There is also another interesting indication from the Newsmap. If you compare the National snapshot against the International one, you can see that the Abu Ghraib and Berg stories are only large domestically. Overseas, the violence in the Mid-East (specifically, the killing of the Israeli soldiers) is filling much bigger rectangles.

May 04, 2004

What's Mappening

For all the political wonks who read better pictorially then verbally, the Newsmap is long overdue. Basically, it takes the Google News aggregator and creates a graphical version of it, allocating cell spaces to particular news items based on how often the same story occurs across multiple news sites at a particular point in time. Designed and conceived by Marcos Weskamp, the Newsmap can map news by countries and/or categories, based on your specification.

As of this afternoon, John Kerry's "This Is My Life" ad campaign is getting good play, as is California's move to dump Diebold. The biggest story, however, involves the White House's latest Iraqi damage control effort, involving the incredibly outrageous and incredibly damaging torture of Iraqi detainees.


From time to time, I'll be posting different maps--especially if something big happens to be breaking.

May 03, 2004

Land Of (Spilled) Milk And Honey

Best newspaper shot of the day. Ariel Sharon after his party votes down his plan to unilaterally pull out of Gaza. (Front cover of Ma'ariv, May 3, 2004.)

Apr 21, 2004

Faces Of The Fallen


Not to make light of tragic subject matter, but the Washington Post has created a nicely-designed interactive tool, called Faces of the Fallen, to keep track of soldiers who have died in Iraq. The utility presents a field of silhouettes that can be called up by month. Each icon represents a particular soldier. If you click that square, it presents identifying information, cause of death and a photo, if available, in the light green field to the right.

In a way, it is unfortunate I found this application so striking. While the web naturally lends itself to more creative interpretations of data, in general, Big Media still seems to want to treat the medium as an extension of print.

By the way, I found out about this tool on Mikhaela Reid's blog. Mikhaela is an up-and-coming cartoonist whose work currently appears in the Boston Phoenix.

Apr 18, 2004

News: Who Pulled Down Saddam?

Although this story has been circulating for awhile, I think it's one of the most telling examples of media manipulation in recent years. At the same time, it is incredibly revealing of the Bush Administration's heavy-handed role in Iraq.

This first image is one that was distributed world-wide showing the supposedly spontaneous toppling of Saddam's statue by a hugh gathering of Iraqi citizens in Baghdad's Fardus Square.

This second photo, however-- taken from the Palestine Hotel--reveals that that square was blocked off by the U.S. military; only a small number of people were assembled; and a U.S. tank pulled down the statue in an action that was primarily choreographed.