On Errol Morris’s Interview: Ground Zero, And Placing Bush “In The Context Of Where He Was”
The account I found most telling in Errol Morris’s interview with three wire service photo editors about the Bush era involves the image above. As Jim Bourg of Reuters explains:
I actually edited this photo there in New York on the scene in 2001. I was looking to put him [Bush] in the context of where he was – that he was literally on the rubble with the firefighters. And it was, frankly, not easy to do just because of the logistics of the photographers and the environment that the photographers were facing in the wreckage. I don’t think the average viewer looking at this picture realizes just how close this photographer is to the president. It’s an extremely wide-angle lens, and he’s literally right in front of him. So the ability to put it in context and show where Bush actually was is really a challenge in this situation.
It’s a challenge, I’d say, that was mostly overcome — except for the fact that Bob Beckwith from Ladder Co. 117 is staring right at the camera, therefore ruining the sanctity (not to mention, the larger propaganda value) of this otherwise near-religious shot.
What’s a relief to know, however, that — through the benefit of optics; and Dubya’s skill as a poser; and the framing of the building; and the “leg up” spirit of the man with the blue hat; and the prayerful countenance of the Chief holding the extra hard hat (as if, for those firemen who no longer needed one anymore) — the wreckage and the other photographers swarming around were transcended successfully enough to place Karl Rove’s client and America’s comforter-in-chief “in the context of where he was.”
Knowing all that, I’d say: sure Bob, go ahead and clap.
The image on the front page of Sunday’s NYT — accompanying an article on Senator Schumer’s Wall Street cheer- (and other) leading — illustrates a visual surge underway against the American upper-class power elite. (In other words, much of the paper’s target audience.)
But, are they just making a fashion of it?
Bush has visited Iraq
So much for greeting us with flowers.
…I know it’s not fair to read in like this, but #3 is there because it captures, at least in part (for me, at least), not just disgust and disappointment, but an Iraqi sense of fatalism. For Maliki, who lives in a country where everyone wears a bulls eye, I sure he felt Bush didn’t even get a taste.
For Bush, as we’ve been chronicling for the past few weeks, it’s just more confirmation how desperate (and sunk) he is to salvage his legacy. What was the translation? “This is a goodbye kiss, you dog!”
And, as for Karl, regarding this now-defining incident in this stunt-of-a-trip, it’s just more confirmation politics surely is TV with the sound off.
Particularly interested in any thoughts you had on #4.
More: Not sure you remember this from ‘o5. If you click through, though, you’ll see where former Iraqi PM (and U.S. favorite) Allawi was thought to be the subject of an assassination attempt in Najaf. Turned out, however, it was worse than that, given the culture significance of the shoe….