Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The subtle media bias of a simple image

Found this example of media bias on another website.  
Look at this image. Pretty straightforward, right?
Wrong. (Full-size image here.)
Let’s dissect it, piece by piece.
1. Biden and Obama bookend Romney and Ryan. Newspaper and magazine editors know where your eye goes first. Guess which team is in that position?
2. Biden and Obama are smiling. Romney and Ryan are not.
3. Biden and Obama are fully lit and clear. Romney and Ryan have shadows on them. Ryan’s is even a little creepy, with that shadow of a hand reaching across his chest.
4. Biden’s and Obama’s faces are well-lit and clear. Romney is in shadow, and Ryan is a sickly shade of yellow-green.
I worked in publishing for a long time. I know the process that goes into choosing a photograph before it is sent out to the world. There’s no way the contrasts in the above picture happened by accident. The shading of Ryan’s face, the shadows on the Republican candidates, the full sun, smiling faces on the Democrats–all on purpose, by the photo editor and whoever signed off on the photos. Oh, they’ll deny it to the rooftops. But look again at the contrasts in those photos, and tell me that it’s not deliberate.
Your media bias, deconstructed.
Oh. And it’s in a piece that decries how ugly the campaign has become so far. Yeah. Ironic, isn’t it?
Go to original website

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