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Photographer Jill Greenberg Just Photographed John McCain
September 13, 2008 1:23 AM   Subscribe

She's an Ardent Democrat And boy, did she let her feelings be known through her work. Here's her website(NSFW).
posted by jfrancis (119 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I thought that headline would show on the main page. Oh, well.
posted by jfrancis at 1:25 AM on September 13, 2008


Yeah, it might be saturday but maybe you wanna stick a NSFW on that second link. Jesus.
posted by jontyjago at 1:52 AM on September 13, 2008


It's definitely not a flattering photo, but it seems underhanded and shady to me to purposefully deliver something less than your best merely because you have differing politics. If that issue is frustrating enough for you, don't take the gig.

It really feels like it cheapens the professionalism, but I suppose that's her personal call to make. She's ridiculously snarky for someone who lit a shot "poorly". Like she's going to fight the man from the inside here or something, except, you know, not really. And we should all be proud of her.

But my, what a neck the Senator has.
posted by disillusioned at 1:56 AM on September 13, 2008


Yeah, it might be saturday but maybe you wanna stick a NSFW on that second link. Jesus.

Can I edit it? Or can someone else?
posted by jfrancis at 2:03 AM on September 13, 2008


Can I edit it? Or can someone else?

I took care of it.
posted by vacapinta at 2:10 AM on September 13, 2008


Is Greenberg the photographer who generated the weird controversy about the crying kids a few years ago?
posted by mr_roboto at 2:20 AM on September 13, 2008


mr_roboto: Yes.
posted by batmonkey at 2:23 AM on September 13, 2008


As much as the Dr. Evil shot of McCain amuses me, she struck me as immature about the whole thing.
posted by Nattie at 2:23 AM on September 13, 2008 [9 favorites]


The photo isn't that bad, she should have tried to get him to flash one of those creepy smiles.
posted by delmoi at 2:31 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you are just seeing the first link, you aren't getting the whole picture. It's much worse on her site's (currently NSFW) splash page.
posted by jfrancis at 3:18 AM on September 13, 2008


Hey, I wish a monkey would take a poo on McCain in the metaphorical sense, but if I was hired to take a picture of him and accepted the job, I'd try to do it properly. Of course, if I was in charge of hiring somebody to take a picture of somebody, I wouldn't hire somebody who was sickened by that person.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:21 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's definitely not a flattering photo, but it seems underhanded and shady to me to purposefully deliver something less than your best merely because you have differing politics. If that issue is frustrating enough for you, don't take the gig.

Unless you don't have any class. Then it's OK.
posted by three blind mice at 3:23 AM on September 13, 2008


Ultimately - and, considering her intent, ironically - the Atlantic cover photo actually used is one of the best photos I've seen of McCain. (which isn't surprising; browsing through her site she's very, very talented). I think there are moral problems here, but in the face of all the evil crap McCain's campaign has been doing of late, it's relatively small potatoes.
posted by Auden at 3:23 AM on September 13, 2008


I think you need more warning on that second link other than "NSFW". That first picture is seriously fucked up.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 3:26 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


An interesting video on Jill Greenberg and her work
posted by Auden at 3:30 AM on September 13, 2008


I am stridently anti-McCain this election and I am massively juvenile and I do looooove teh lulz....


....but this shit is fully unprofessional and cowardly and smug and dickish.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:38 AM on September 13, 2008 [11 favorites]


It's definitely not a flattering photo, but it seems underhanded and shady to me to purposefully deliver something less than your best merely because you have differing politics. If that issue is frustrating enough for you, don't take the gig.


By that standard republicans should refuse public office.
posted by srboisvert at 3:39 AM on September 13, 2008 [7 favorites]


Monkeys pooping on people is definitely the way to go. I'm tired of it happening the other way around.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:55 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


A monkey shitting and pissing on John McCain's head.

I just wanted to see what that would look like written out.
posted by chillmost at 3:57 AM on September 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'd be more forgiving if there was a precedent in the right-wing media for doing far worse.

Oh, hang on.
posted by Shepherd at 4:00 AM on September 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


I can't tell if this makes photographers, or Democrats, look worse.

Thanks a million, Jill Greenberg. Can we NOT feed the Republican spin machine, please, in the last weeks before the election?

*sigh*
posted by availablelight at 4:09 AM on September 13, 2008


I can't tell if this makes photographers, or Democrats, look worse.

It makes one particular photographer look worse.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:29 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


With friends like Jill Greenberg, who needs enemys? But Obama is not responsible for the behavior and feelings of all Democrats anymore than McCain is responsible for Sean Hannity or Michael Savage.

And they continue to poop on the public as much as the nsfw bonobo.
posted by beelzbubba at 4:46 AM on September 13, 2008


Jill Greenberg will forever be as busy as she wants for this stunt. Excellent personal PR, whatever you may think of her work or morals.

She's got good lighting skills (probably a mini-van full of strobes and modifiers), but pushes the local contrast enhancement rather far for my taste. I prefer more environmental lighting, global contrast and a filmic look, but whatever sells is what you do. Also, her website sucks. Way too wanky for a good portfolio review.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:15 AM on September 13, 2008


I hire photographers all the time to shoot sensitive things. If one pulled a stunt like this, I would beat the crap out of his local reputation, and stand on the sidewalk and laugh while he was evicted from his studio, his equipment was repossessed, and his children starved. Trust goes along with taking a professional job. McCain isn't the victim here, the victim is the photographer's client, and the professional reputation of free-lance photographers in general.
posted by Faze at 5:20 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought the second photograph from the first link was really good; McCain, an older man with dark shadows rising behind him. Way better than the first image, definitely better than that thing on her own website.
posted by bjrn at 5:26 AM on September 13, 2008


Who's the chimp? W? Rove? If so, the photo is historically accurate (think 2000 primaries)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:36 AM on September 13, 2008


Yeah, I think this photographer might have burned a few bridges with this stunt.
I'm curious to see if, and how far, this propagates in the news outlets. Will Bill O'Reilly go apeshit?
posted by longsleeves at 5:51 AM on September 13, 2008


I thought that the standard view around here, and most of the country, was that photographers, touch-up artists, and designers were all bad because they made their subjects look too good and ruined the self-esteem of millions of Americans. The first photo of McCain (the mocked-up Atlantic cover) is actually a lot better than he'd look if you took a candid photo of him with a point-and-shoot.

Make up your minds, guys. Don't bitch to me about Jessica Simpson "looking better than she should" on the cover of Cosmo and then turn around and get all pissy because the McCain photograph correctly represents him as an old, old man.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:52 AM on September 13, 2008 [8 favorites]


OK, the pooping monkey was silly and juvenile, but I liked it.

As for Greenberg, I think she's being beaten up unfairly in this thread. First off, she was given a commercial assignment and delivered an excellent shot. That was the professional thing to do and she did it.

And having been presented with the opportunity to photograph a major figure in the news, she broke through the thick layer of image control to capture a cool editorial image (the horror movie McCain.) There's no way that would have happened any other way than with a little deception. That's not an unheard of technique for a photographer, and we'd be missing a great many compelling images in our culture without it.

Also, if you're afraid of feeding the Republican spin machine, you've lost. They're going to blather on about Democratic slights no matter what you do, But if you temper things so Rush, Sean and Glenn Beck don't attack you then you've become a passive milquetoast and that's what they want. When you're in the cage with a bunch of poo flingin' monkeys, you don't win by being the best orator.
posted by Mcable at 5:57 AM on September 13, 2008 [15 favorites]


That second photo reminds me of Tor Johnson for some reason.

I hire photographers all the time to shoot sensitive things. If one pulled a stunt like this, I would beat the crap out of his local reputation, and stand on the sidewalk and laugh while he was evicted from his studio, his equipment was repossessed, and his children starved.

Reading this, it amazes me that you haven't collapsed under the weight of your own self-importance.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:03 AM on September 13, 2008 [18 favorites]


The Atlantic gig is far from a commercial gig - it's editorial and given that the Atlantic probably has some sort of policy on being an objective publication my guess is they're shitting their pants (no pun intended).

Furthermore, Greenberg does a ton of editorial work but her main bread and butter is advertising. The next time you're in Target take a look around and more than likely you're looking at Jill's work.

She's in the upper echelon of art and commerce photographers in the world and her little statement will probably cost her an editorial gig or two but should be a big hit with the art buyer's in NYC.

It's a juvenile and unsophisticated statement IMO but it's a statement nonetheless and something very few people in her position have the balls to do. Good for her.
posted by photoslob at 6:19 AM on September 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Previously.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:20 AM on September 13, 2008


Uh, did anyone look through the set she has online under Names > John McCain?
posted by avocet at 6:20 AM on September 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


Back in 1991 Greg Heisler shot this Time "Man of the Year" portrait of George Bush. Granted, it wasn't as extreme as JG's ghoul lighting shot (and certainly wasn't as extreme as the pooping monkey). But Greg (who was shooting a lot of Time covers back then) made the image by making double exposures on 4x5 film and caught Bush's people totally off guard.
posted by Drab_Parts at 6:27 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thanks for pointing that out, avocet. I wish her crappy site interface would allow direct links.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:27 AM on September 13, 2008


welcome to the united suck of america
posted by pyramid termite at 6:29 AM on September 13, 2008


“Good. I want to stir stuff up, but not to the point where I get audited if he becomes president.”

Huh. Now WHY would anyone think that the IRS would be used as a tool for political dissent? Here I thought such was not gonna happen after the events of the Nixon days?

An official with the Internal Revenue Service has admitted that legal opponents of [the president] were singled out for tax audits, according to court documents made public this week. "What do you expect when you sue the president?" senior IRS official Paul Breslan
posted by rough ashlar at 6:29 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


....but this shit is fully unprofessional and cowardly and smug and dickish.

You misspelled "Republican."

I'm glad she did this. She's fighting. So few are.
posted by eriko at 6:29 AM on September 13, 2008 [6 favorites]


I took the chimp photo to be a metaphor for his relationship with Bush.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:33 AM on September 13, 2008


laugh while he was evicted from his studio, his equipment was repossessed, and his children starved.

Parking tickets: bastinado, exile to Siberia.
Overdue library books: rub body with honey, stake out on anthill.
Taking an unflattering picture: professional destruction, children starve.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:40 AM on September 13, 2008 [6 favorites]


Yeah, you can call it unprofessional all you want. Personally? I would LOVE a picture like that of myself.

I'd hang it behind my desk in my undersea lair.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:42 AM on September 13, 2008 [11 favorites]


The Atlantic gig is far from a commercial gig - it's editorial and given that the Atlantic probably has some sort of policy on being an objective publication my guess is they're shitting their pants (no pun intended).

Given that they chose to run the photo (I'm sure she took more than one), I assume they know exactly what they are doing.

It baffles me. Republicans can tell gross lies about people's character, their religion, their careers, and yet someone takes an unflattering picture and suddenly we're all atwitter? The only thing wrong with the picture of the monkey shitting and pissing on John McCain's head is that there aren't a thousand other such pictures.

Remember, this is the group that's responsible for millions of murders from Vietnam to Iraq.

And for those of you who think that this will somehow negatively impact the Democrats, give it up. It's not about the swing voter, it's about galvanizing the base. There's nothing we can do to fire up the Repigs any more - we need to get all these Democrats excited.

And it's hard to imagine a swing voter seeing an unflattering picture of McCain and suddenly deciding, "I won't vote for Obama because some random photographer took this photo." Frankly, it's much more likely that they'll laugh but the image will trickle into their guts and sit there and negatively impact McCain.

MORE PHOTOS LIKE THIS PLEASE.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:52 AM on September 13, 2008 [7 favorites]


From the first link: “It’s definitely exciting to shoot someone who is in the limelight like that. I am a pretty hard core Democrat. Some of my artwork has been pretty anti-Bush, so maybe it was somewhat irresponsible for them [The Atlantic] to hire me.”

Yes, shame on them for assuming someone they hired would act professionally. I'm sure that's an error they won't make again.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:53 AM on September 13, 2008


I like it.

Finally someone is willing to play artistic hardball against the Repubs.
If we've learned anything over the past 8 years, it's that Democrats are always trying to take the "high ground" and play nice. It doesn't work, it hasn't worked, and it will not work in the foreseeable future.
Why does Rush have the best ratings in radio? Because he is an unashamed douchebag.
Sure, it sucks, but people love it. And it works.

Dems need to shit or get off the pot.
posted by Balisong at 7:07 AM on September 13, 2008


lupus - I would bet that the publisher, editors and business-side management of the Atlantic are horrified by what she did.

She signed a contract that gave her a 3-week embargo on the images which is an incredibly short period for images of any "celebrity" let alone the republican candidate for the presidency. I bet the Atlantic thought it was a safe bet no other magazine would want images from the set she shot because the news mags all want exclusive images. Little did they know she had a different agenda for the images.

You can bet Greenberg will never shoot another political figure or controversial person for a mainstream news mag ever again. Not that she cares.
posted by photoslob at 7:10 AM on September 13, 2008


I do wonder how this will affect her career in the long term. I probably wouldn't agree to have my photo taken by a photographer who purposefully makes unflattering photos of people if she doesn't like them or agree with them politically.

That said, I love the sinister shadow photos. They're great. But.... the rest of the stuff? The shark teeth, the monkey, the yellowed teeth, the presumably enhanced cheek bulge? A bit too juvenile for my tastes.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:10 AM on September 13, 2008


lupus - I would bet that the publisher, editors and business-side management of the Atlantic are horrified by what she did.

There's no way that the cover goes out without the chief editor approving it.

Let me clue you into the fact that they want to be talked about: magazines these days desperately need the publicity. And there probably isn't a single subscriber to The Atlantic who'd find it offensive, these days: they tend pretty far to the anti-Republican side.


I do wonder how this will affect her career in the long term. I probably wouldn't agree to have my photo taken by a photographer who purposefully makes unflattering photos of people if she doesn't like them or agree with them politically.

One assumes she'd be just as biased in a positive direction to people she did agree with. We're actually kind of hoping that most of the people elected in 2008 also disagree with John McCain, so this might be very good for her career.


You, the people railing against the photo, have watched the pit bull tactics of the Republicans over the years, the massive lies, and how effective they've been - after eight years of it, there's no evidence that people are sick of it yet.

Now, something like this is much more honest than photo-retouching or the like - it's a true, if unflattering, portrait of the villain in question. Ethically, it seems perfectly reasonable to me; and practically, the Democrats should be doing twenty times as much as this. So what exactly is your beef?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:33 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


She signed a contract that gave her a 3-week embargo on the images

I'm not actually sure what you mean...?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:33 AM on September 13, 2008


Uh, did anyone look through the set she has online under Names > John McCain?

Thanks for pointing that out, avocet. I wish her crappy site interface would allow direct links
.

The McCain set: 1 2 3 4 5
posted by flabdablet at 7:39 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm not talking about the cover - that was shot and approved 4 weeks ago (and is one of the best portraits of McCain I've seen IMO).

Greenberg's contract with the Atlantic called for a 3-week period of time where she had to sit on the images and not display or sell anything from shoot with McCain.

A standard embargo for a news mag is about 3 months. It just proves the Atlantic wanted her "look" for the cover bad and were willing to do anything to get it. There's going to be far greater fallout for the Atlantic editors who hired Jill. Like I said, the East coast art buyers and other ad folks will eat the retouched McCain images up. And, I think that's what this is about more than anything - Jill is pandering to her base.
posted by photoslob at 7:45 AM on September 13, 2008


We shall win the battle through passive-aggressive tactics, and a long focal length.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:48 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I would love to see a Dem 527 group drop some money on a series of billboards like this.

Talk about something that would resonate with women voters.
posted by photoslob at 7:53 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


That this one person is putting her politics and art over her professionalism (whatever the fuck professionalism means these days) is going to lead to denigration of all professional photographers everywhere is like saying one douche-baggy-art-star is killing attendance in an 11th grade art classes nationwide.

Grip. Get one.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 8:02 AM on September 13, 2008


Darth McCainer is hot shit, love that one. Having a monkey dropping a log on a dude's head is really not what I think you want right out front on your website like that, though. I mean, even if you ran a monkey scat porn site for people who love to see monkeys dropping deuces on people you'd probably want to put up a warning page of some kind.

Beyond this, I think even if it was Cheney's liver spotted papyrus skinned snarling mummy head on there it would still be outside the admittedly broad boundaries of my dumb-funny-zone.

"A" for effort, though!
posted by The Straightener at 8:29 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


John McCain's handlers need to counsel him to tuck that neck in.
posted by interrobang at 8:32 AM on September 13, 2008


The McCain set:

Whoatheres! While I strongly dislike politicians, especially ones who's opinions so greatly diverge from my own, that set makes me feel bad for the guy. He was an unwitting participant in those. He thought he was having a regular ol' portrait taken for a magazine.

I am aware that living your life in the public eye leaves you wide open for shit, but still. Heebejeebes.
posted by bobobox at 8:36 AM on September 13, 2008


If anyone was curious about the technical side of the shots, here's a Strobist feature on Greenberg's light setups and another.
posted by heeeraldo at 8:39 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


I always find it funny to hear people described or self-described as "ardent Democrats" or "ardent Republicans". Both political parties - as structural or administrative entities and as separate from the beliefs the party members may hold - are giant steaming piles of dog shit. People that describe themselves by their party affiliation rather than their political beliefs are generally the transparent nepotist or syncophant type.

"Ardent liberal" or "ardent conservative" (as if either really encompasses the total of a person's political beliefs) would make much more sense.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:45 AM on September 13, 2008


“He had no idea he was being lit from below,” Greenberg says. And his handlers didn’t seem to notice it either. “I guess they’re not very sophisticated,” she adds.

I guess she's not very professional.
posted by MarshallPoe at 9:03 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


You, the people railing against the photo, have watched the pit bull tactics of the Republicans over the years, the massive lies, and how effective they've been

there are 5 year old children who would think the monkey pooping picture would be juvenile ... the rest of the work would probably amuse a 11 or 12 year old

So what exactly is your beef?

never get into a pissing contest with a skunk
posted by pyramid termite at 9:14 AM on September 13, 2008


All those McCain pictures need is a little caricature of Greenberg down in the corner riffing on the main picture, a la The Onion's Kelly.

Seriously, WTF? Who does this after they're twelve?
posted by infinitewindow at 9:22 AM on September 13, 2008


From Shepherd's link:

As for whether the Times would retaliate, Sifton said no: "It is fighting with a pig -- everyone gets dirty, and the pig likes it."

Stop these gratuitous referrals to Sarah Palin! She has copywrited the word "lipstick" and is in the process of banning the word "pig" from the English language.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:23 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the second link needed a "not safe for breakfast" warning.

Greenberg's an idiot.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:26 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Where's the apeshitinsane tag?

She just updated the site-- it's just a shot of Mccain now, no more monkey deuces.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:31 AM on September 13, 2008


A woman who makes babies cry is just the thing the Democratic party needs.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:52 AM on September 13, 2008


there are 5 year old children who would think the monkey pooping picture would be juvenile ... the rest of the work would probably amuse a 11 or 12 year old

Have you not see a "television" recently? Most Americans have very juvenile tastes.

And you know, I like this picture. I hate these people. They're destroying the world! They've killed far, far more people than I've ever met. They lie with impunity. They've looted the Treasury. And the supposed opposition has been totally passive.

We need more pictures like this.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:55 AM on September 13, 2008


If you refresh her intro page you get a couple of different versions. In case the ape wasn't enough.
posted by ddaavviidd at 10:01 AM on September 13, 2008



And for those of you who think that this will somehow negatively impact the Democrats, give it up. It's not about the swing voter, it's about galvanizing the base. There's nothing we can do to fire up the Repigs any more - we need to get all these Democrats excited.


Much as I agree with her sentiments, you don't win elections by yelling hysterically at the opponent. You win elections when reasonable people speak reasonably to their family and neighbors about why their candidate is better suited to the job. If this election plays itself solely in the mainstream media, it's a game we can't win, and probably don't want to win. Yes, I realize I'm running the risk of getting steamrolled by my naivete, but what's the alternative, really?

I would fully support more guerilla media action if our choice was Lieberman vs. McCain but we've got a candidate this time who is clearly superior and has a chance to win on his own merit.

/goes outside to scrape "Republicans are dumb ass fucks" bumpersticker off of car
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:04 AM on September 13, 2008


Have you not see a "television" recently?

actually, i haven't - am i missing anything?

We need more pictures like this.

get your art supplies here
posted by pyramid termite at 10:04 AM on September 13, 2008


Quit your bellyaching and handwringing. She's an independent photographer; she got the photo she was paid to do; and she negotiated the right to license any photos the Atlantic didn't use. If this puts her career at risk, she's a big girl, and she has the right to do so.

What's really at issue is that there is a whole industry of image consultants whose job it is to fool you, lie to you, and short-circuit your ability to reason. Greenberg knows this and used her knowledge to turn the tables on McCain. In all the other threads, I hear people complaining about how Democrats aren't showing enough killer instinct, but when you finally have a Democrat who shows some real ovaries in getting the GOP's goat, you all get whiny about "professionalism."
posted by jonp72 at 10:14 AM on September 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


A woman who makes babies cry is just the thing the Democratic party needs.

Why not? It certainly worked well for the Republicans.
posted by jonp72 at 10:16 AM on September 13, 2008


Much as I agree with her sentiments, you don't win elections by yelling hysterically at the opponent. You win elections when reasonable people speak reasonably to their family and neighbors about why their candidate is better suited to the job.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Sorry. I'm not trying to be a dick but... have you been around for the last two elections? At all?
posted by danny the boy at 10:17 AM on September 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


I would fully support more guerilla media action if our choice was Lieberman vs. McCain but we've got a candidate this time who is clearly superior and has a chance to win on his own merit.

CNN's lead in the Politics section is currently: "McCain up one point over Obama". I think 'clearly superior' might not mean the same thing to the US electorate as it means to you and me.
posted by danny the boy at 10:23 AM on September 13, 2008


danny the boy beat me to it.
posted by Caduceus at 10:42 AM on September 13, 2008


Looking through her non-McCain stuff, she's a pretty remarkable photographer. I find the McCain stuff pretty distasteful, myself, but I can't help but agree that the democrats really aren't going to win by staying above it all and playing policy wonk.

I think photoslob's idea is a genuinely great one.
posted by Caduceus at 10:47 AM on September 13, 2008




goes outside to scrape "Republicans are dumb ass fucks" bumpersticker off of car

Make sure to save that scraper, you'll need it to remove the 'Question Authority' sticker when Obama gets elected.
posted by mattholomew at 10:56 AM on September 13, 2008


Why's everyone bitching? This is awesome satire. Are you guys kidding? Professionalism? When everything's on the line like it is this year?! Fuck professionalism. If McCain gets into office it's 4 more years of the world going to hell in a handbasket.

She had an opportunity to give a middle finger to that asshole and she took it. If you had any balls and guts, you ought to as well. To get a paycheck to make this fascist look good, and not have your own personal political retribution is cowardly. The country's good is more important than another contract with a magazine.

She's brave to risk her career to show that McCain is the Devil.
posted by MythMaker at 11:00 AM on September 13, 2008


MythMaker, do you vote with that brain?
posted by mattholomew at 11:05 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Sorry. I'm not trying to be a dick but... have you been around for the last two elections? At all?


Yeah, I was at the front of the crowd screaming the loudest. We still lost, that was my point. I admitted I was being naive this time, are you sure you're trying not to be a dick?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:09 AM on September 13, 2008


I can't help but agree that the democrats really aren't going to win by staying above it all and playing policy wonk.

You're right of course, voters don't give a shit about policy. They care first about what the people around them, who share their values, think. Cheap shots make a difference but not as much as social pressure and that's ultimately how the Republicans are going to win.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:18 AM on September 13, 2008


"Strabo" (McCain) 53%
"Apollo" (Obama) 47%
posted by clavdivs at 11:25 AM on September 13, 2008


That "Frankenstein flash" technique dates from at least the 1950s. It's not that it's classless (it is), but as a way to make someone look evil, it's about as current and edgy as drawing a Snidely Whiplash mustache on him.

Also, I guess she doesn't have call waiting, because while she was on the phone negotiating this assignment, 1999 was unable to get through about how it wanted its Flash interface back.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:50 AM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't really see what the problem is. She delivered what her client wanted (the cover of the Atlantic looks exactly like her trademark style and is one of the better photos of McCain I've seen, it's not like they got a sub-par photo out of spite or something). She owns whatever outtakes she decided to shoot and really it's good business sense - do you guys think there are no clients out there who would kill to license a photo of McCain where he looks evil? In this carefully controlled world of handlers and stylists I bet there are exactly zero out there right now. She is basically sitting on a goldmine and all she had to do to get it was ask McCain to step over to the side for a split second and tell her assistant to turn off a modeling light so it wasn't obvious what she was doing.

The Atlantic got exactly what they hired her for, she got to shoot an outtake that will probably bring in the big bucks, she got to satisfy her artistic and political side, and she gets a ton of free press out of it.

Anyone who thinks this is going to hurt her career or that she is burning bridges must have no idea who she is, we are talking about one of the largest names in photography right now. Her "Apocalypse" series of crying children made national headlines and had the talking heads saying how her career was over and she was scum for weeks and what happened? She got a ton of jobs shooting children.
posted by bradbane at 11:50 AM on September 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also: Jesus Fucking Christ- again with the whiny-ass defeatism?

Seriously?? A few polls show McCain up- because of the convention bounce. Completely expected. And that doesn't even determine who wins. The Electoral vote determines who wins. There are at least six states up in the air. Obama wins any one and he is president. If we call them all 50/50, McCain has a 1/64 chance of winning.

It's not impossible for McCain to win, but it's very unlikely. If he does, it will be directly attributable to this defeatist, "October surprise," rather whine-than-do-anything-about-it attitude from people who call themselves liberals.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:55 AM on September 13, 2008



Also: Jesus Fucking Christ- again with the whiny-ass defeatism?


Be careful, I heard they're all going to move to Canada if they don't get their way!
posted by mattholomew at 12:09 PM on September 13, 2008


Excellent! Jill Greenberg is an extraordinary photographer. Her work is intense. She plays with hyperrealism in unusual, darkly playful ways. Her monkey and ape portraits are some of my favorite photographs ever. An exceptional series.

That monkey poop on McCain's head one has me laughing out loud. Ok, that and the monster lighting are totally childish but some part of me, the child part perhaps, feels a bit helpless with all this election corruption going on, knowing how the elections were stolen last time. And this is a release somehow. It's funny.
posted by nickyskye at 12:43 PM on September 13, 2008


I think the actual cover shot of McCain that the Atlantic ran brings up some very interesting issues surrounding the objectivity of any individual photograph on its own, viewed outside of the context of a series and artificially isolated from the hand/intentions that created it. In retrospect should the Atlantic and other publications vet all of their image-makers to ensure that whoever they assign art to is sympathetic to the subject matter? Does being sympathetic rather than antagonistic slant the resulting imagery too far in the other direction? Should choosing photographers and illustrators be like picking a jury?

I understand that the outrage expressed by some people has more to do with a perceived lack of professionalism ( casting one's client in a poor light, no pun intended) but a lot of negative reaction elsewhere (not so much here, metafilter you continue to impress me) implies that the actual cover art is somehow tainted or anti-McCain because of what we now know about Greenberg's politics.
posted by stagewhisper at 12:57 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


On the one hand, it's attitudes of professionalism that have allowed the Republicans to get so far. If everyone who, say, served Bush at a restaurant who hated his guts took a moment to say something about it, we'd have a lot more fired waiters out there, but maybe we'd also have a country that wasn't so will to just roll over and serve the man.

On the other hand, take that to its logical conclusion and you'd have a nation even more torn up by divisive politics than it already is. The Democrat businesses that serve the Democrats, and the Republican businesses that serve the Republicans.

Who would win in such a fight, I wonder?
posted by JHarris at 12:57 PM on September 13, 2008


(ps I am not objective)
GO JILL!
posted by stagewhisper at 12:58 PM on September 13, 2008


Yes, it's a release, and this *is* funny. But as poll numbers dip, we'll see more stunts like this and at best, they don't convince any new people to vote Obama, at worst, well...

Also: Jesus Fucking Christ- again with the whiny-ass defeatism?

Point taken. This ulcer I've developed since the Republican convention is clouding my thinking.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:02 PM on September 13, 2008


Seriously?? A few polls show McCain up- because of the convention bounce. Completely expected. And that doesn't even determine who wins. The Electoral vote determines who wins. There are at least six states up in the air. Obama wins any one and he is president. If we call them all 50/50, McCain has a 1/64 chance of winning.

A few polls? You mean, all the polls averaged out, like here? And Obama needs to win more than any one, judging by that.

Not that there's still not a lot of time for that picture to change, and if we're lucky there's a genuine reality gap causes by people who only use cell phones being more likely to vote Obama but not getting shown in the polls, but even so, you're being too optimistic. That sort of complacency--people thinking there was no way anyone in their right mind would elect Bush for a second term--is why Kerry got his ass handed to him.
posted by Caduceus at 1:15 PM on September 13, 2008


Actually, having gone back and looked at the rest of the McCain photos, I think I've changed my mind. I think this is a great piece of art pranksterism (except for the monkey deuce pic, which still sucks and is the worst of the group), especially in a world where public figures are so tightly guarded, their worlds so carefully controlled and at this point in time when you would think that guard would be at its highest.

Of course she'll be immediately discredited as the liberal artist woman who made babies cry, but it's not like these pictures were going to really impact anyone's opinions on either side of the fence. This is a moment for progressives to high five over one of their own punking John McCain, and I extend my *HIGH FIVES* to Jill Greenburg for having done something ballsy and supremely, awesomely dickish.

I also like that her music portrait gallery spans everything from a hugely smiling Lionel Ritchie to grimmm robed Steven O'Malley and Greg Anderson.
posted by The Straightener at 1:33 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Link to the monkey poop pic? It's not on the front page, and I can't not look now that it's been discussed so much...
posted by hincandenza at 2:49 PM on September 13, 2008


Lighting or no lighting, I've been kind of horrified by this guy's face since I first saw it. Why is one side so much bigger?
posted by mannequito at 2:59 PM on September 13, 2008


The front page actually displays a random picture (try refreshing), some heavily edited, some apparently straight, some with captions. It's possible some people here are unknowingly talking about different pictures.

I think editing pictures is a legit form of comment, but to be good they need to make a good point,whereas the ones here are mostly just shouting.

The lighting thing doesn't work: lighting people from below usually makes them look like Dracula, but here she hasn't pulled it off at all - he looks fine. In some of the straightish pics she successfully reveals that he is old and ugly, but y'know old and ugly doesn't equal evil, and may even make him seem human, worthy of compassion and respect.

Disclaimer: I have no views about the impending American election and hardly know who John Mc Cain is.
posted by Phanx at 3:23 PM on September 13, 2008


Lighting or no lighting, I've been kind of horrified by this guy's face since I first saw it. Why is one side so much bigger?

That's where he had skin cancer removed.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:37 PM on September 13, 2008


Phanx: Disclaimer: I have no views about the impending American election and hardly know who John Mc Cain is.
London, schmondon. You could have saved 78 keystrokes by simply typing "Disclaimer: I am a moron." How is it possible you "hardly know who John Mc Cain is", much less have no views about the impending American election? Besides, this comment from you just two days ago belies your practiced ignorance:
Why do people vote Democrat when the destruction of America would seem objectively to be against their own interest?
posted by Phanx at 1:42 AM on September 11 [+] [!]
posted by hincandenza at 4:03 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think she might be drunk.
posted by chillmost at 4:30 PM on September 13, 2008


Oh, but I will say that her "manipulations" are mostly shitty. Good enough to win a Fark Photoshop contest, good enough to place in the top ten in a SomethingAwful thread, but frankly just this side of ten minutes with Kai's PowerGoo caliber. Also she doesn't understand typography. So if you want to critique her taste, I think that's a better place to start.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:46 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Disgusting McWayne pic.
posted by buzzman at 4:57 PM on September 13, 2008


Apparently Jill Greenberg removed the photograph of the chimp pooping on McCain. I wasn't able to find an image of it anywhere, just the upper part, sans poop and McCain's head below (but you can imagine them, lol).
posted by nickyskye at 5:41 PM on September 13, 2008


I am sure her self righteous arrogance prevents her from knowing or even being able to fathom shame. She is the kind of person that makes the word Liberal a slur.
posted by MapGuy at 5:57 PM on September 13, 2008




I honestly don't understand why anyone (except for McCain supporters) is up in arms about this. Makes Liberal a slur?

Because she made an ape shit on McCain's head?

I think the image of McCain as being a pile of shit is probably a good thing to get into people's consciousness. Not a maverick -- a pile of shit. It's the proper framing.
posted by MythMaker at 6:36 PM on September 13, 2008


I actually like the lit from below pic, I do not find it makes McCain look bad at all. The photographer's glee over the picture is a little infantile however.
posted by Vindaloo at 7:12 PM on September 13, 2008


Oh, I just saw the NSFW link, that makes me think that Jill is messed in the head.
posted by Vindaloo at 7:14 PM on September 13, 2008


Y'all remember this?

Thomas Hawk tried to get Jill Greenberg arrested for child abuse her "End Times" piece.
posted by OrangeDrink at 7:17 PM on September 13, 2008


Most of you people live in a fucking fantasy world.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:31 PM on September 13, 2008


The Canadian Conspiracy must be stopped! First they came for our TV shows, then they came for our presidential candidates.
posted by lukemeister at 8:55 PM on September 13, 2008


Faze, it's nice to see you taking such a strident ethical stance on this, given how important electing a president is. (ahem)
posted by stagewhisper at 9:25 PM on September 13, 2008


It's not impossible for McCain to win, but it's very unlikely. If he does, it will be directly attributable to this defeatist, "October surprise," rather whine-than-do-anything-about-it attitude from people who call themselves liberals.

Wow. Really? You live in a world where it's VERY UNLIKELY for McCain to win? So if Obama loses, it's because *I* didn't believe HARD enough?

So not counting any campaign contributions, or any people I have influenced, or you know, the VOTING, I'm still a fucking defeatist if I for one second suggest that people are not swayed by the high road and that messaging on policy has never won an election?

I'm preparing myself for the possibility of 4 more years of Red not because the Republicans are some unstoppable evil, but because the Democrats are a bunch of retards who have fucked up every opportunity they've been handed in the last 8 years.

Yes it's MUCH more productive to clench your eyes closed and chant "there's no place like home", than talk about what would make for an effective campaign.

It's said a lot that we get the government we deserve. Yes and we also get the Democrats we deserve.
posted by danny the boy at 9:32 PM on September 13, 2008


As to this thing itself - it's been going on in the U.S. since J.P. Zenger. I mean Nast drew Boss Tweed and the Tammanys as having vulture bodies and so forth.

So as to it's rectitude - there's no question at all it's in bounds and free speech. And, yeah, kind of funny. Plus it's on a personal website, so it's ok. End of story.

But as to the whole "I like this" and "They're finally fighting back" nonsense - what is it you're expecting? I mean, if Dems adopt the same tactics.

That is to say - where is the line? Either you condemn and expose the hypocrisy and malfeasance of your opponent or you abandon the moral high ground.
You can't have both.
This "well, they started it" nonsense doesn't wash. Hell, that's been going on in the middle east for at least a thousand years. They're doing so well with it, we should bring it here?

Point being, it's a race to the bottom. I didn't like it when the republicans did it. I abhored Fox airing anything like it (and as far as I'm concerned invalidates anything they could say of any substance at all, I will never believe anything I hear or see on Fox) and if the Dems start endorsing it, well - what makes them any better then?

Oh, yeah. They're right.
Well, we're right too. That's why when our enemies started torturing our people, we started torturing theirs. I mean, you can do anything if you're on the right side, can't you?

No wonder people dump their t.v.'s the amount of relevant information - even the marginally relevant that was possible by searching - is dwindling even faster. Even the pretense of attempting to be objective is fading away (and those of us who remain objective, looking only for the issue, are being dichotomized as weak or irrelevant because we don't have the balls to 'take a side') Hell, it's getting so I can't expect 411 to give me a straight answer.
And some of you are cheering it on.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:26 PM on September 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thanks for caring, hincandenza, but I think you're too kind about my other comment - it was actually the kind of lazy, culpably ignorant haven't-RTFA kind of thing you'd expect from a moron and self-confessed foreigner.

Good photographs are generally complex, capable of many different readings: that's part of their value. Greenberg's best images are the least effective as polemic, and the most stridently rhetorical are the worst pictures.
posted by Phanx at 1:24 AM on September 14, 2008


I don't undersand what's so remarkable about her work.
posted by pallen123 at 2:15 PM on September 14, 2008


If this is the liberal/progressives idea of assmetrical political warfare, we are soooooooooooooooooo screwed.
posted by OXYMORON at 4:40 PM on September 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


BagNewsNotes (a blog about photojournalism) on this Atlantic cover and their cover featuring Obama and McCain.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:38 AM on September 15, 2008


It seems to me that discussing the ethics of the situation is a bit beside the point. Of course she's an independent photographer and she can do whatever she wants. But isn't the whole thing a bit juvenile? Does a picture of McCain, awful as he is, with the words "i'll have my girl kill roe v wade" really speak highly of her? This is kind of sub-Perez Hilton stuff...
posted by sloweducation at 4:16 PM on September 15, 2008


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