When pictures go bad...
January 19, 2001 8:53 AM   Subscribe

When pictures go bad... I'm not trying to start another link of gratuitous Bush bashing, honest. But this picture of him is simply awful. Are news organizations deliberately picking the worst pictures to show, or is Dubya naturally unphotogenic? Is this an extension of his public malapropisms and grammatical errors? Is the man just awkward in front of a crowd? And how will this affect his ability to be a good President?
posted by solistrato (32 comments total)
I'm THIS old.
posted by Doug at 8:59 AM on January 19, 2001

And I am reminded of my reaction to the Time Man of the Year cover: "What, me worry?"

In all seriousness, I did notice during the campaign that he has to be kept in rather controlled situations, and can come off quite poorly otherwise, a trait he shares with Gore to some extent. Or perhaps it is just our perception after seeing the uncanny smoothness of Clinton and Reagan.
posted by tranquileye at 9:02 AM on January 19, 2001

No, sadly I think it's become part of his "good ole Texan boy" image. (And probably they had to manufacture that image in order to tone down his appearance on camera.)
posted by teradome at 9:08 AM on January 19, 2001

"Three more years! Three more years!"

(I couldn't resist.)
posted by Skot at 9:17 AM on January 19, 2001

Photo editors aren't immune to bias. Here in Jacksonville, during the presidential campaign the conservative Florida Times-Union loved to show pictures of Gore sweating next to pictures of Bush looking confident and assured. I began to be concerned about Gore's health.
posted by rcade at 9:22 AM on January 19, 2001

My money's on the picture editors selecting the cream of the crop. (Then again, online news makes it possible to stick photos online that wouldn't make it to the dailies for their lack of decorum.)
posted by holgate at 9:28 AM on January 19, 2001

What really caught my eye was that horribly forced grin. He looks like he has tetanus.
posted by solistrato at 9:34 AM on January 19, 2001

I think he looks hot. Where can I get me summa dat?
posted by frykitty at 9:36 AM on January 19, 2001

Admittedly he looks a bit insecure and boyish, but soon, in office, he will rise to the Office and look heroic, a face carved on Mt Rushore. Give him a chance. Anyone can make a mistake ten or so times. Let him who iswithout sin get stoned.
posted by Postroad at 9:40 AM on January 19, 2001

I think you're all smoking crack. Bush looks hot in this photo. Not sure what the problem is... He doesn't look any worse than Saddam, Blair, Yeltsin or the like, surely.
posted by yarf at 9:45 AM on January 19, 2001

Actually, I take it back. It's not tetanus. It looks like he just farted.
posted by solistrato at 10:00 AM on January 19, 2001

Oil can....oil can....
posted by jpoulos at 10:30 AM on January 19, 2001

He looks like a retarded baby penquin.
posted by crushed at 10:41 AM on January 19, 2001

"retarded baby penguin" -- what an evocative image! (but mind yer p's an' q's buster ;)
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:48 AM on January 19, 2001

Hmmh. More Linux bashing.

They all take bad pictures at one time or another. Check out this picture, and tell me who looks worse.
posted by thirteen at 10:57 AM on January 19, 2001

Oooh. Bad hair day.
posted by waxpancake at 11:11 AM on January 19, 2001

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

posted by crunchland at 11:17 AM on January 19, 2001

You guys are killing me!! LOL, this is the funniest set of comments since the McChiken head thread!!
posted by doublehelix at 11:52 AM on January 19, 2001

er, that would be McChicken.
posted by doublehelix at 11:52 AM on January 19, 2001

That's funny; I was thinking this was the stupidest set of comments I've ever seen on Metafilter. To each his/her own, I guess.
posted by norm at 2:12 PM on January 19, 2001

Eh...well, maybe you're right, norm, but it made me chuckle while at my mundane job. To each his/her own is fair enough. FWIW, I also enjoy the more substantial threads as well.
posted by doublehelix at 2:43 PM on January 19, 2001

I can't stand the dirty prick, but I don't think the picture is that bad...
posted by internook at 3:33 PM on January 19, 2001

I dunno... I did notice, one of the people from the school of ed here had a thing comparing Gore and Bush on education, with an obvious extreme bias in favor of Gore. The pictures on it were priceless -- almost too extreme. They took probably the dorkiest picture ever taken of Bush, and put it along side a photo of Gore in this sort of proud looking-toward-the-sky pose that could have been out of freaking Leni Riefenstahl, I swear.
posted by dagnyscott at 3:45 PM on January 19, 2001

"...And this is the hand I caught in the lawnmower..."
posted by Markb at 4:37 PM on January 19, 2001

And again with the three fingers! Is that his special "W" gesture? Or is he down with the West Coast?
posted by solistrato at 6:37 PM on January 19, 2001

He looks better in this picture. Maybe becuz he's in luv.
posted by Poop(*)Head at 7:20 PM on January 19, 2001

But this is the most photogenic man in the senate.
posted by Poop(*)Head at 7:38 PM on January 19, 2001

Surely someone here has a great caption idea for the branding photo...
posted by gluechunk at 12:07 AM on January 20, 2001

Yes, solis -- he's been doing the three-fingered "Dubya" since at least the convention. Usually as part of a stump speech that ran roughly:

"Al Gore says he invented the internet. [laughter] But if he invented the internet ... [expectant chuckles] how come every internet address ... [building] ... begins with DUBYA? [uproar] And not one, but THREE Dubyas!"

Anyway, I've seen enough photos, stills, and moving pickchers of the man to believe that Dubya needs to editorial assistance in the process of creating silly-looking photographs. Nope, that's a skill he's mastered all on his own. A lot of them, from what I can tell, are evidence of continuing astonishment on his part that he's been taken this seriously.
posted by dhartung at 1:19 AM on January 20, 2001

"Well, shoot! D'ya believe I made it this far? Didja know that I could order all the beer I want in the White House? Even Natty Light! And lookit this! I push a button on the phone, and someone brings me a ribeye and taters! Goddamn, but if this ain't the life! Check this out! I pick up this phone here, and we invade Germany! Ain't that the damndest thing? Think I'll pass out in front of the TV watching 'Married With Children' reruns."

The thing is, Laura looks kinda nice - very very quiet, but easy on the eyes. Meanwhile, Dubya looks like he had one too many facelifts. The skin seems too tight around his face. Very Liberace. Just the weirdest damn couple I've ever seen.
posted by solistrato at 9:36 AM on January 20, 2001

solistrato: Was that your impression of Bill's last night, or George's first?
posted by thirteen at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2001

solistrato: don't forget "so, are those dang aliens real?"
posted by holgate at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2001

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