Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the Hillary shot

I often glance at several different news sites when trying to find out what's up in the world. The Drudge Report is one of several sites I visit, but I don't view it uncritically. TDR has a right-leaning bias-- in and of itself, this isn't good or bad, for every news site has a bias (most of the major ones lean left). What bothers me about Drudge, though, is that (1) the wording of many of the links is often deliberately misleading, and (2) Drudge often reveals his rightist bias through the types of images he allows on his site. Case in point: recent photos of Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee have been downright presidential-looking, whereas this most recent photo of Hillary Clinton, seen here, is consistent with the types of unflattering photos Drudge normally displays when showcasing Democrats.

I'm no fan of Hillary's and don't particularly mind various efforts to lampoon her (or any other presidential hopeful), but there's something needlessly rude about Drudge's publication of this photo on his site. When coupled with the merciless caption, "The Toll of a Campaign...", the photo supposedly tells us that Hillary is being ground down, that if she does win the electon, then we will have a hag for a president.

This isn't the message I'm interested in. Because Drudge leans right, I'm interested in hearing rightie arguments against Hillary (by the same token, when I visit leftie sites, I'm interested in leftie arguments against the GOP hopefuls). The photo campaign, the idea that "image is substance," simply doesn't impress me. I'm aware of the need to be photogenic in a media-saturated age, but I'm also cautious about the continuing conflation of Hollywood and DC. Sure, I'll joke about how somebody looks or sounds, just like anybody else... but ultimately, the way I vote will be a function of the candidate's stances on the issues, not on how well the camera flatters them. My point is that Drudge is wasting my time by displaying such photos as the one you see. More substance, please.


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