DEAN THE DORK

It occured to me earlier today that virtually every still photograph of Howard Dean I see makes him look like a complete idiot. A near-random sample of what I found at WaPo, NYT, and YahooNews on pages active within the last ten minutes appears in the extended entry.

But this is true of probably 3/4 of the photographs I see of political figures, period. It must be a point of pride for “photojournalists” to catch people with odd expressions on their faces and their editors apparently think these make for representative news photos.

Matt Drudge has turned highlighting the most ridiculous of these on his web site into a near art form. But look at the collection at Yahoo! News – Politics. An amazing percentage of these have the candidates in rather embarrasing poses.




FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Kate says:

    That’s nuthin’.

    Check this out.

    Canadian MP’s Tony Valeri
    http://www.playground.net/~danad/valeri2.jpg

    And Tony Clement
    http://images.theglobeandmail.com/archives/RTGAM/images/20040115/w2clement0115/0115clem2.jpg

    Actually, this has the makings of a good contest.

  2. SwampWoman says:

    Thank GAWD the press ain’t followin’ me around snappin’ pictures of me doing stupid things all day. It wouldn’t be hard to do.

  3. John Lemon says:

    Actually, while I will agree partially with your premise, I don’t find anything particulary horrendous about any within this particular set of pictures. The middle picture is actually pretty good. (You are right that Drudge does make posting embarrassing pictures and art form.)

    Dean suffers from the same problem I do — short, stubby and no neck. This makes any side pictures look horrendous.

    The general problem with pictures is that they do take a snapshot of what we are doing and at any given time we are in the process of an odd pose — we are creatures of motion, not “still lifes” (except for bloggers).

  4. Kevin Drum says:

    I think Dean is just one of those unfortunate non-photogenic people. Kind of a bummer for a presidential candidate.

  5. Paul says:

    It must be a point of pride for “photojournalists” to catch people with odd expressions on their faces and their editors apparently think these make for representative news photos.

    Not quite, but close. When Quayle was running for Pres I took over 200 frames of him for a story. The editor picked the absolute worst one.

    The idea (for the photog) is to get him doing an action not looking like Al Gore. (sorry Gore always looks like that) The editor wants something that will draw eyes.

    The fact you are blogging about it tells me the editors are accomplishing that mission.

    Paul

    (admittedly that is from a pj’s chair, we blame editors for all the world’s problems.)