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May 10, 2006

A Picture Is Worth 0000 Words

Cheneyvf

“My image might be better out there,
this caricature you talk about might be avoided,
if I spent more time as a public figure trying to
improve my image, but that’s not why I’m here.”

-- Dick Cheney, explaining to Todd Purdum
what he's not doing this interview for.

***

So Vanity Fair is pimping for Cheney?  Guess that's the cost of being big MSM.  Because, although they got stiffed on the interview, they still gave "The Hostile Veep Reclamation Project" the photo plug of the year.

The "exclusive interview" in the new June Vanity Fair is titled "The Dick Cheney You Don't Know."  Amen!  I mean, if Cheney had even given up one thing, you know that title would have read "Didn't" -- not "Don't." So, what did Purdum get out of Smiley?  Well, it went mostly like this:

Is he fatalistic about his heart disease?

“I am. I don’t even think about it most of the time."

What would he order for breakfast at his favorite pre-fishing spot?

“I’d probably have two eggs over easy, sausage and hash browns.”  (He says he cuts loose when he goes fishing.)

On whether he has even “a little doubt” about the administration’s course.

“No.... I think we’ve done what needed to be done.”

On whether the administration hyped pre-war intelligence:

“In the end, you can argue about the quality of the intelligence and so forth, but ... I look at that whole spectrum of possibilities and options, and I think we did the right thing.”

Is Cheney the power behind the throne?

“I think we have created a system that works for this president and for me, in terms of my ability to be able to contribute and participate in the process.”

(...And, I guess, this is where Purdum stop licking the boots....)

Does he think gay people are born that way?

"Nice try."

Can he remember the longest conversation he ever had with his father?

"That's private."

Dick may have skated through the oral exam with stock non-answers and generic chit-chat, but a portrait (by someone like David Hume Kennerly, no less) demands more honesty -- or, dishonesty -- than that.  In this case, the acid man (hey, who knew Air force Two had a fireplace!) locked his eyes on somebody -- maybe Purdam -- and then tried to channel Santa Claus.

Cheneyvfleft

Cheneyvfright

But I can promise you, if he had to look straight into the camera for that portrait, he never would have pulled off that mug.  (By the way, look how he shouldered the other two shots.  What's this, equal-opportunity profiles?

As it went, the portrait was so disingenuous,VF couldn't stop telegraphing the fact.  Right there in the large-type story lead-in, Cheney is characterized as "the whiz kid with the lopsided smile who ran Ford's White House...."  Maybe that's historically accurate.  But if the "smile" was lopsided then the way it's lopsided these days, then the word they really were looking for was: "inverted."

And then, VF practically flirts with retraction with that title: "A Face Only A President Could Love."  So what are you telling us?  That only the "Self-Deceiver-in-Chief" would buy into this?  That the only reason Cheney's lower face is set this way is because -- like the article -- it's been ironed?
-----
(Note: Beyond this summary, currently on VF's "Press Room page, no on-line version of the piece is available.)

(images: David Hume Kennerly for Vanity Fair.  June 26, 2006)

Comments

I always enjoy Vanity Fair. Where else can you get progressive rhetoric with Bulgari ads?

I could hardly recognize that old picture as Cheney. His current face has completely lost all humanity to me. The man is monstrous.

OT - there's a site that might interest BAGgers. changeme.gettyimages.com where you can pick an image from their collection and write your impression. A very nice site with them donating $10 per image to health research.

BS he's not working on his image! Well, somebody sure is. This is out at the same time Mary Cheney is promoting a new book. This is totally part of a public relations campaign, he's soooo nonchalant.

He's such a nice war criminal. The picture with Rummy and the wiener dog in the background makes me lol. What is it with conservative men and little doll dogs?

Lynne must have been there with the photographer for the portrait shoot. "See, he looks just like warm old Eisenhower when he takes his glasses off." Perfect for the old draft dodger.

And Rummy in a track warm up suit? Who was the stylist on this photo shoot? Jeez, nothing says phony more than a brand spanking new track suit!

Well, now the Administration can't fault the Wilsons for their Vanity Fair photo-op. The slate's been wiped clean.

Did the interviewer ask Cheney about his draft-dodging during the Vietnam war? Or about Halliburton? I guess not. It sounds like Cheney treated Vanity Fair with his usual contemptuous disregard and they ate it up. Rumsfeld looks absolutely ridiculous in that track suit. The saying about "mutton dressed as lamb" comes to mind.

“I think we have created a system that works for this president and for me . . ." Sure it works for Bush and him. And you can also be sure that mean-spirited Dick couldn't care less that it's been catastrophic for the rest of the world.

What a flattering photograph of the Vice President, from a well-chosen angle. A photographer once told me that that particular angle was the only one from which Julio Iglesias would allow himself to be photographed.

Heh. I'll have to pick up a copy of the magazine. Is Cheney watching... ulp FOXNEWS in that one picture? I'll need to verify. Is that some of that stealth-advertising I've read about?

Rummy in the track suit is close to this old shot of the gang ...

http://www.gizoogle.com/showimage.php?id=16

Richard Bruce Cheney — his best picture looks nothing like him. That's perception management.

The shot at the picnic table looks a bit like Tony Soprano holding a business conference with Pauly Walnuts somewhere away from prying Federal ears and eyes. Pauly never lets his hair down either.

Now we know where the cockroach elves in the picture below are going with their briefcases, off to Air Force 2 for a little fireside reading with Grampa Dick.

I must say it sort of reminds me of the circus clown image that turns out to be a child molester...

wow, warm tones, sharp focus on clear eyes. Grampa Cheney, tell us a story! Definitely a picture to put up on your mantle, if you happen to have a selective memory. I agree, mugatea, somebody must be working hard on his image because the only Cheney face I know is the sneering, snarling, hand-wringing teeth-gnashing one.

I really don't think Cheney is interested in his public image, because why would he stonewall the interviewer on the questions we never hear him answer? He doesn't care, as we have seen in the BAG, if he wears a parka to a Nazi concentration camp or beat-up shoes to diplomatic missions. His smile looks fake, maybe it lasted only a second. The reason I say this is when people smile for a camera and they don't mean it, it looks more painful to pull their muscles back and grin. Instead, jaw clenched, they look more tense instead of relaxed, as a genuine smile looks. It's especially noticible when children who feel like they have to smile for a picture will look like this. I don't know, does that make sense? It's just I'm not used to seeing Cheney smile and maybe he isn't used to smiling, either.

He even looks a little stressed out with the furrows and veins in his forehead almost deemphasized with the soft lighting and how we're drawn into his eyes. His eyebrows aren't really raised, just the corners of his mouth. Faker! That's OK, everybody needs PR, I just don't think this spin on Cheney will save him.

God, that image makes me want to defecate. And snarl, as I do it.

My first glimpse of this photo was the Bag's ad over at Hullabaloo. And the first thought I had was of the Steve Martin character in an old movie (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels???). Remember when he was sitting at the table having dinner with Michael Caine and a woman they were trying to run a scam on? He had a similar expression on his face when he apparently fixed his pants while having dinner. Seems sort of appropriate to me.

What struck me first is his age. He looks old in this shot. I also see the semblance to Eisenhower. But I think that's almost surely deliberate, and that Cheney is flattered and amused by it, amused by the naughty cleverness of him channeling the man who so publicly warned of the dangers that Cheney himself has come to embody.

My fellow-baggers, every astrology site I consulted in the past year has predicted Cheney's resignation/death/demise and he has survived them all! That man defies fate!

Is that glow a reflection from the fires of hell? It must be the only photo of him with a smile forcibly implanted because it doesn't even look like him. And the shadow (shading?) on the left side makes the dark space look like the top of his shoulder, which makes him look thinner........and makes his head look rather disembodied......as if his tie were holding him down to earth.

In the other two photos, he looks like he has recently gained quite a bit of weight. Maybe he's gained what Karl has lost.

mugatea make a very good point. Cheney's daughter has been talking about how difficult it was to stand on the stage at the convention (...with her dad?) and here he is undermining her time to 'come out' publicly with her book. Hmmmm. No dysfunctional family here, folks, move along now.

Upon further contemplation (yeah, I really strained at this one) the 'attempt' at the warm glow about him seems to disintegrate before our eyes into yellow coming from above and red from below. It's just too obvious to be accidental so perhaps we could detect a bit of editorializing by the photographer? The redness of the uplight may be an attempt to camouflage the redness in his eyes while the yellow on top just contributes to a bald pallor and gives the shadows a distinctly red hue. I wonder if his coloring is so pale (due to his illness) that this was an attempt to make him look alive.

Maybe that photo was taken right before his daily kitten sandwich.

The odd reddish tone of the Cheney photo looks almost like it's a superimposed reflection from a fireplace or something. Warm and homey, just like the 7th circle of hell.

And Cheney is watching Fox in that 2nd photo. You can tell from the bottom graphics.

Or maybe the light bouncing off of Scrooge's pate is emanating from the Ghost of Christmas Past.

http://www.bookrags.com/notes/xmas/CHR.htm#4

Cheney: (trying to look sincere)


Me: EEEKKK!!! MOOOOOMMmmmmmyyyy!!!

That picture of Cheney looks devoid of life--it's like a funeral mask. I wonder how many pictures it took just to get that weak grin out of him.

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