NOTE: BagNewsNotes is now located at Please update your bookmarks.

You will be automatically redirected in a few seconds...

« Close To You | Main | Your Turn: Ball Room Conversation »

Feb 26, 2007

Oscar As Metaphor


The Academy Awards?  Weren't they that trifle which momentarily interrupted Hollywood's launch of the new blockbuster: Mission Impossible IV: No Dems Left Standing?

How perfect.  Just three days before the awards show, and TIME plays the hype to imagine Hillary as Bette Davis, the "great but aging actress" in All About Eve, and Obama as the (female) ingenue looking to take her down.

Besides the specific typecasting, what could be more thematic than likening Democratic candidates to actors playing actors.

Maybe I've been in Europe too long, but really, I could care less about David and Maureen and the Hollywood - Beltway mafia and their personal bones to pick (or the MSM's John Wayne "conventional logic" that you're not a viable candidate unless you can repeatedly kick somebody's ass.)  What I do care about is how the media eggs this stuff on to profit off the entertainment value.

If the most repeated question about the Hillary-Obama dust up was, who came out on top, the larger answer, as one looks down the road, is "nobody."  In it's place, however, what is well under way -- however many months and months we are before the first primary -- is the trivialization of the entire Democratic field.

If this first pic -- taken just before the State of the Union speech -- was simply offbeat a month ago, paired with the All About Eve reference, it works like a political IED.  (At least, for the Clinton campaign.)  I mean, how much charge could you pack?  You've got the caricature of the thin-skinned, unapproachable, hysterical and vindictive Hillary next to the lower, but nothing to lose, and suddenly not so Bambi-ish Obama.

And then, rounding out the two-and-a-half candidate picture is some comic relief.

Really, I'm still shaking me head over this pic.  You would think an article featuring
Edwards as the main beneficiary of the Hillary - Obama hostilities would make Edwards look somewhat winning, right?.  Once again, however, the NYT falls to the inclination to make JE look like a twit.

(image 1: Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME. Washington January 23, 2007. image 2: Stephen Jaffe/Agence-France Presse.  published February 23, 2007.


"What I do care about is how the media eggs this stuff on to profit off the entertainment value."

Well, most of the media is involved in entertainment, and their goal is to make a profit. They must be drooling over the prospect of months of competition between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The reference to "All About Eve" mentions a young protege who insinuates herself and tries to take over without the Bette Davis character realizing it at first - but it's not as if Obama is pretending that he's not running. I wouldn't want to be compared to Bette Davis, though, and Hillary must be worried that her time has passed.

That picture of the two of them is very interesting, though. He's got his arms crossed like he's angry, and he does seem to be turned to look back at her. But what's with that look on her face? The guy next to her seems to be saying something to her; I wonder what.

Of all the people whose lapels we can see, they're all wearing the flag pins except for Obama. I wonder if Hillary has one on.

I like John Edwards so much, and every picture they take of him seems designed to make him look goofy. Two seconds later, his expression would have been a little different. not like he just swallowed a goldfish as a prank, and they COULD have used that frame, but DID they? No.

I also feel they try to make him out to be pretty with no substance, like Dan Quayle.

Now look at the absurd lengths one must go to to actually make the squinting, vaguely simian Bush look dignified and Presidential (it's not possible to make him look intelligent): lighting, etc. all in control and staged perfectly. Yet they go to these absurd lengths regularly.

If there's a liberal media bias I sure want to know where the hexk it is!

Edwards is not a twit. What everyone will find out, closer to the nominating conventions and during the debates is that he is a multi-millionaire trial lawyer who knows how to win, knock down opponents, and still come off as the quintessential Southern gentleman, with soft voice, good looks and gracious manner. A rwit is someone whose skin you can get under. I'm betting that Edwards has everybody's weak points well noted, and that he has no vulnerabilities of the kind that would "waste" Hillary in a debate.

I hate to be off topic, but I am chomping at the bit to read some expert analysis on Gore last night. It was a truly unique platform for a political figure, and he was clearly comfortable amongst friends. The fact that so much (if not all) of his humor was based on the will he-run-won't-he-run really put the question back on the table...

Tell me I don't have to wait too long... :)

I've got it now... it looks like Hillary played a prank on Obama - like hitting him in the back of the head with a spitball or something; he's angry and turning around to tell her off, but she's pretending she doesn't know what he's talking about.

fer cryin' out loud BAG, it's "couldn't care less."

I think that Ummabdulla has it exactly, in both her posts.

BagMan: some of the most important work you did was in 2004, demonstrating how the "liberal" MSM was able to marginalize/absurdidize/diminish Kerry, while giving Bush a little pump-up here, a little pump-up there. Often this was not noticeable unless looked at over time and in the larger context. I hope that you will continue to do the same here.

Perhaps you could set a clear link, so that folks could see what was going on back in 2004.

Also, why do you say that there are two-and-a-half candidates in the first picture? Sometimes some of us don't know who all of the "important" people are in your photos.

The photo above of Clinton and Obama is extraordinary.

Wow, interesting picture. He looks SO angry. The fact that this was taken a full month before the Obama Clinton hostility became public tells me that this is not made up by the msm. To the contrary, it finally rose to the surface. There has to be plenty behind it that we just don't know yet, or won't ever.

Edwards looks like he's just busted into the show stopping second number in a Broadway musical. "Oh, we got trouble, right here in River City. With a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool!"

The All About Eve reference for the top pic is priceless. Obama looks like a cat that has its back up and Hillary looks like someone who has been shown the evidence of her misdeeds and is trying REAL HARD to bluff it out.

As entertainment, these pix are great! I'm almost ready to go pop some popcorn and watch the rest of the show. Once it's over, I'll go back to my life.

ummabdulla, LOL! That's totally it! Great post!

I don't even think they are looking at eachother. Looks like they might be on different planes with Obama forward and Clinton in the back. Just goes to show that you can catch anyone holding a strange face if you wait longe enough and click at the right moment.

Obama: Do you mind, some people are interested in what is going here, not everyone is anointed by the press as the next messiah!

Hard to get a picture of a politician that isn't staged anyway. They know the cameras (and through them the eyes of millions) are watching

Both very dark photos. 60-80% bk. Edwards is backlit a bit, but not enough to stop him from looking like a mime.

Eric, I'll take a look at the Gore segment.  The AA's weren't on here in Spain, although there was a lot of buzz about Penelope Cruz, and Babel. 

Mad, regarding The BAG's visual tracking of the campaign '04, it's mostly all here.  (Also available under "Campaign '04 in the category links in the first column.)  Many of us really go back awhile, huh!  Re: the "2.5 candidates," I was referring to the second pic and JE's lower visibility.  Sorry for the confusion.  I couldn't ID most of the people in pic #1 either. 

Victor: It's always good to be reminded about the candidate's awareness of the camera.  Alan Chin just sent me a set of photos of Hillary and Obama he took in New Hampshire two weekends ago.  He felt it was hard to "get much" out of it.  I'll probably post the shots in a couple of days and let the community study them.

That's not Obama, it's long time Clinton family retainer, Rahm Emanual.

PS, it's not Harold Ford either...

It looks to me like Congressman Anthony Wiener (from Brooklyn) is saying something funny and sardonic to Hillary. She's portraying wide-eyed amazement at what Wiener is joking about. Obama is trying to get her eye and is about to smile and say something directly to her, joining in the joke or at least engaging her. Maybe they're amazed at the nerve of Cheney to show his lying, always-wrong face in public. "Can you believe it, Cheney is here!"

I am in agreement with many of the comments Patrick has made over the the few weeks. As a consequence I ask;

Beyond the staging of photo ops and analyzing them until the cows come home, there is surly only one real chance for the US. Unfortunately that person has not yet become a candidate, lets hope he does. In many countries he would be a powerful political voice and probably have an excellent chance to be some other nations leader.
If the US is a "can do" nation how come insufficient numbers of citizens are unwilling to come to their senses.
Yes its Ralph I talking about and here are a few good arguments advanced by Chris Hedges toward the realization of a real and tangible democracy for my southern neighbor

The Bag said: "... is the trivialization of the entire Democratic field." I'm certainly no historian, but I remember the press ridiculing Truman, Stevenson, McGovern, McCarthy, Johnson, Humphrey, Dukakis and Mondale, to say NOTHING of Clinton and Kerry, It's what they do. Okay, I'll give you Quayle. The destruction of the equal time provision and the take-over of all media by the right-wing interests has only accelerated the process. One gets the impression they would prefer all pols were patricians from New England who hadn't begat a democrat in at least two centuries.

OTOH, I have to admit that we feed right into their scenario. We DO disagree.....with them and with each other. We think that is the way to reach a consensus or a truth and there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe we have to adopt the attitude that we can criticize each other, but they can't, as in families: I can call my sister a slut but would kill anyone else who said so. Sort of. But, of course, that's rather hard to do when the right owns all the media outlets, and there are just enough supposed lefties who love a fight, too.

The left just doesn't fight back and I think that is endemic in the left persona. We tend to be interested in many things and just don't have that laser vision that enables the right to go in for the kill until the enemy is writhing. Carville may have had it before he married draculette.

BTW, is that pic of Hillary been photo-shopped? Because her eyes look positively like a death-ray. And is it my (very active) imagination or are they particularly adept at picturing dems with their mouths open?

jtfrom BC: Hedges said: "We must organize to fight the corporate state,..." Exactly. The operative word is ORGANIZE. That is why I won't vote for Nader. He does nothing between the elections to organize the Green Party, if that is his choice. What he does is sit in his lair and play coy until his minions beg and plead for him to come out and save the Union. And he does, without fail, and takes with him just enough young, naive lefties to affect the final results in favor of the right. as further evidence of this scenario, we have the record of republican/right financing of his 2004 "campaign."

It's good to see your name in the comment thread, Cactus.

The BAG said: "I could care less about David and Maureen and the Hollywood - Beltway mafia and their personal bones to pick . . . "

Then *why* have you mentioned it in the last three consecutive posts?

Cactus, the remainder of that comment is - "to redirect our national wealth and resources to fund a massive antipoverty campaign and curb the cycle of perpetual war that *enriches* the military-industrial complex and by extension *the two political parties that dominate Washington*.
Whatever Ralph's or the Greens short comings may be its Tweedledee or Tweedledum, a vote for the chicken or the egg, some viable choice EH.
Following the money of the T's tells this sorry little tale more accurately than charisma or rhetoric.
Its time for the elderly to share their wisdom with the young lefties and the minions. Fifty years ago I noticed a lot of grey haired folks around.

In it's place, however, what is well under way -- however many months and months we are before the first primary -- is the trivialization of the entire Democratic field.

Well isn't that their job? This is the corporate media after all. It's why I don't watch cable news and absolutely would not touch Time Magazine. Hell, I didn't read them 25 years ago. I knew what they were even then.

Somebody said that isn't Obama in the top post. Is that correct?

I'm really not sure that that is Obama.

Put the picture into any photo editor and increase the brightness. It's him.

Given that Rep. Loebsack is staring at something, brow furrowed, with something of a mix of incomprehension and disbelief on his face, and so is the Congresswoman(?) in the corner, I read this more Rep. Weiner and Sen. Clinton exchanging opinions about some complete nonsense (Cheney?) going on offscreen. Sen. Obama looks angry, but in context his anger would be directed at the speaker offscreen, and he's just turning back to hear what Rep. Weiner is talking about.

That photograph is a treasure trove of facial expressions.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

My Other Accounts

Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 07/2003