Sunday, April 15, 2012

A picture is worth a few words now and then

You know, I'm not the biggest fan of Danielle Smith. But someone out there, someone who works for the Calgary Herald, really really must dislike her. Because this is the picture that ran on the front page today: 

It takes some doing to make the ultra-intelligent, telegenic Ms Smith look like a moronic demon. But someone sorted through about 10,000 pictures for THIS ONE and then put it in a newspaper. I think there's a story there; there's always a story there. If this were an editorial piece, in which there were words that said something to the effect that "Daniele Smith is an evil troglodyte who wants to eat Brian Mason for breakfast," we would demand to know what the writer was talking about, why on earth he or she would say such things, and we would get to the bottom of it: the prejudice, the gender bias, the personal dislike, newsroom tit-for-tat, the giddy bad-child glee of doing something mean--whatever it is that's behind this photo.

I don't even think I read the article beneath that photo. I was just stopped in my tracks by the weird ugly creepiness of the image, and I'm willing to bet a lot of other people were too.

They updated with this one:
This photo accompanied a story about Smith's stance that a certain homophobic candidate's personal views about gay people don't reflect her party's position (and let's hope not). The photographer caught her lowing. That's the only word for it. She looks like one of the vacant-eyed cattle that you see in the golden fields at the foot of the eastern slopes of the Rockies, conveniently portrayed by the background behind her.

You can laugh about it--or snicker, whatever--but it's not fair. Maybe I'm just a little sensitive to the way women are imaged right now after being forced to read all about poor Ashley Judd's "puffiness"(wish I had her problems, facially speaking, let me tell you). I do know that elections are won and lost by images--remember Dukakis in that tank!

If I had my way, Danielle Smith would lose this election, but because of her ideas, not because of being photographed vengefully. I think it's beneath the dignity of the Herald to keep up much longer with this tack.

And thus ends the political commentary portion of this afternoon's show. Back to regular programming tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I'm no Nenshi fan but I feel bad for the poor bastard. Every time the Sun runs a photo of him, he looks ... um ... 'special.'

    These photos are a great way to determine the political leanings of a newspaper at face value.

    Mind you, this kind of bias is unethical. Not that they should run a submitted headshot with every story, but the Calgary newspapers make it so damn obvious.