Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How to lie with pictures

Quick, free-association time: What's the message of this fair-n-balanced center- piece from this morning?

Brief digression while you're thinking. If you were cruising the D yesterday afternoon with your ragtop down and your radio set to the excellent campus public radio station,* you might have heard your friendly editor discussing the role and effectiveness of negative advertising. One of the points that came up was the message that isn't false but might as well be -- put another way, technically true, but not for lack of effort on the campaign's part. The underlying message of which is: Hey, it's not our fault if you got the meaning we intended, rather than the one that might have been entailed by those actual pesky facts!

There's a pretty clear message, meseems, in the juxtaposition of the Lady In Red picture, the hed ("I get why she's HOTT"), and the mug of Old Bill with that let's-you-and-me-go-make-a-couple-new-words-for-snow look on his face. Doesn't it just totally spoil the effect if you read the (fairly tedious and mundane) AP procedural campaign story that Fox kicked up to centerpiece play just for the occasion?

Former President Bill Clinton said Monday he understands why Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is popular in the American heartland: because people relate to her.

“I come from Arkansas, I get why she’s hot out there, why she’s doing well,” said Clinton.

You can't say it's a lie; it's his exact words and everything! Not our fault if you weren't watching the dealer's hands. But you came really close! Wanna play again?

* Absolute stoney-lonesome cask-strength bluegrass on Saturdays, too.

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OpenID q-pheevr said...

Okay, so we've got a couple of kind of goofy-looking pictures cut-and-pasted together, with a silly bit of dialogue superimposed on the image in white Helvetica Compressed. This is not a news photo; this is a cat macro.

9:08 PM, September 23, 2008  
Blogger fev said...

"Hots: I Haz Dem"? Yeah, I can go along with that.

9:30 PM, September 23, 2008  

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