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26 posts categorized "Convention '08 Live"

Aug 25, 2008

Our Man On The Floor: Pelosi And The California Delegation

With the convention just getting started, Alan Chin made his way to the breakfast meeting with the California delegation. (The second shot is Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul.)

(All images © Alan Chin.  Denver. 2008.  Used by permission)

McCain Playing Hillary Card, Crashing Party At DNC?

With McCain hovering around the Southwest, Carly Fiorina -- the female face of the McCain campaign -- actually holding a press conference for convention press here in Denver this morning, and GOP all-stars cycling through all week, the latest McCain video looks to heighten tension between Hillary supporters and the Obama campaign at the DNC.

In these juxtaposed screen shots, notice how an enthusiastic woman, standing in the same position, switches her alliegience, the two signs in the video practically morphing into each other.  Although unity seems to be mostly the attitude here, there is a pro-Hillary march scheduled for Wednesday.  ... Now, I couldn't imagine the McCain campaign would be doing anything about that.

(image: McCain for President, YouTube)

For more of the visual, including ourcontinuous coverage of the Democratic Convention from Denver, visit

DNC 2.0


The clear feeling here in Denver is that the (technology rich) progressive movement has its own convention-within-a-convention going on. 

This shot more than captures the rise, and resourcefulness, of the new netroots political media.  In the shot, Bill Scher of Campaign For America's Future (well known for his ability to blog standing up) interviews public policy expert Steve Clemons of The Washington Note in the Google lounge of The Big Tent (in other words, blogger central).  Using his MacBook as a video camera, you can see Al Shaw, our producer capturing the interview with his iPhone uploading directly to the web via Qik, with yours truly on screen just off Steve's left shoulder.  Bill's interview should be on-line any minute.

(image: BNN)

TIME's Convention Promo: A Flap In The Face


So Obama is a "one man Rorschach test," or a man of five faces (which, I guess, is better than two).

If I hadn't been in an airport yesterday, I probably never would have seen this -- the promo flap of the TIME convention edition evoking an Obama who is apparently too complex to be fully seen.  (It sort of reminds me of this, another instance in which a Democratic nominee was fragmented by TIME.)

Maybe the ineffability has something to do with Obama's "passion gap?"

(image: Platon for TIME)

Aug 24, 2008

Powell's Obama Intro: Not From Here


With the convention results a forgone conclusion, Denver is about one thing: framing Obama.

And what makes the assignment particularly interesting -- being here in person -- is witnessing how much the media's pictorial distillation of events actually mirrors its own critical sentiment toward Obama or reflects prevailing attack narratives as a counterpoint to the snapshot the campaign is unrolling.

Leading off our coverage, we thought it worthwhile to look at how traditional media is setting the table (or, perhaps, poisoning the well?) heading into the week.

I'm was particularly interested in this illustration accompanying the lead story in Sunday's NYT Week-In-Review by our friend, Michael Powell ("American Wanderer, in All His Stripes")I'm curious about the readership's take on this complex and rather painterly image.  As I read it, it appears to amplify many of the negative memes already in play, particularly Obama as placeless or itinerant, and the sense that Obama is not really knowable (more like a blur).

The treatment of the flag is tricky too.  Besides the idea Obama is not a full-fledged American, it almost subliminally reflects the dual GOP attack lines of Obama the celebrity and Obama as political naif -- in other words, that he's "all star," but he lacks "the stripes."

(illustration: Ji Lee/ Caption alert (emphasis mine):  Rootlessness, the label that sticks to stories like Barack Obama’s, is a national trait that both attracts and repels. )

Aug 21, 2008

BAGnewsNotes Visualizes The Democratic Convention



Dncleadupbutton In four days, BNN will be sharing space with CNN and the like as a credentialed blog and independent-minded member of the Democratic Convention media contingent.  As I see it, our involvement is not just a win for the progressive blogosphere, but -- in terms of our specific mission here -- also important recognition of the power and significance of visual politics.

The opportunity also allows a rare opportunity to get more "newsy."  In contrast to "The BAG's" rather deliberate pace, we're going to try something more up-tempo, offering up to a handful of posts a day analyzing pictures; tracking the visual coverage around the web; and providing you with a stream of original material from photojournalist Alan Chin.

To make this happen, I'll be joined by the young technical, editorial and design wizard, Al Shaw, who was just named this week as Associate Publisher at Talking Points Memo (who, otherwise, will be happy to visualize a bigger BAG).

As regards Alan Chin, the two of us have been evolving a unique, collaborative style of political analysis and visual reportage ever since Katrina, working it out on the campaign trail the past two years from Iowa to New Hampshire to Ohio.  There are various ways to describe what we've been up to, including looking at the campaign from the edges, or from underneath and around the media view, or as a portrait of the-not-so-obvious even in plain sight.  I can't tell what Denver will yield for the collaboration, but what I can promise is that it will be informed, uncompromisingly curious and alive.

Broadening the coverage, I have also extended an invitation to an esteemed group of visual experts -- from photojournalists, visual academics and professionals in the photographic arts and publishing -- to forward analysis and insights into the convention's visual framing and the media's visual coverage.  I'm hoping to include as many of those contributions as possible.  (If, wearing my dozen hats, I happened to miss many of my friends and colleagues, I extend the offer now.)

And then, what would this coverage -- or the site, for that matter -- be without you, the readership, The BAG's at-large analytical team.  Besides your consistent and ever-thoughtful sustenance of the comment threads (that, yes, will be moving along at a faster-than-usual clip), I have a big editorial and research favor to ask....

To make this a truly communal effort, would you be willing to look out for key convention week images and pass them along with your own couple lines of thoughts and analysis?  I can say exactly how much will end up being posted, but I guarantee everything you send (OPENBAG at BAGNEWS dot com) will be carefully read and considered, and will be invaluable in helping formulate the best sense of the overall picture.

Looking forward to a good ride.

(Images courtesy Alan Chin. Ohio. 2008.  Posted by permission)

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