Thursday, October 09, 2008

Damned if You Do, Damned If You Don't, etc.

Just when you thought the ongoing presidential campaign couldn't get any worse...

Controversy has broken out over the cover of this week's issue of Newsweek magazine, which featured a close-up of Governor Sarah Palin's face. Here is the cover in question:

The problem, evidently, is that the picture is a warts-and-all, non-Photoshopped photo. You can see that the governor has ... gasp! ... wrinkles and blemishes! If you look really closely, you can see that she has a few stray hairs on her upper lip. The horror! Why, some Republican media strategists are asking, would Newsweek run such an awful picture? Why not run her official photo as governor of Alaska? Here's that one, with all the offending blemishes and such artfully brushed away:

At the risk of sounding "sexist" (whatever that means), let me say I think that Governor Palin is a very attractive lady. I'm a guy. I think unfortunate things like that when I see attractive ladies. Now, the fact that the governor is an attractive lady obviously doesn't make her as qualified to be vice president as much as, say, living within sight of Russia makes her an expert on foreign policy, but who cares? The reality train left this campaign station a long time ago.

You may remember a few years back, one of the news magazines (I think it was Newsweek) ran into a huge buzzsaw of outrage when it ran a full-face photo of a scowling O.J. Simpson during his murder trial. At that time, the issue was that the photo had, in fact, been Photoshopped to darken Mr Simpson's complexion and make him look more menacing.

As long as I'm taking observational risks, let me crawl further out on the opinion limb by comparing the Simpson apple to the Palin orange. When is it kosher to Photoshop a picture? Clearly, the adjustment of Mr Simpson's picture to make him look worse showed an astounding lack of editorial judgment, if not common sense and human sensitivity. But why is it then wrong to complain about not Photoshopping Governor Palin's picture? She certainly doesn't need digital enhancement to look attractive...we're not talking about the Wicked Witch of the West, after all (at least in the looks department...political philosophies are a discussion for another day).

'Nuff said.

Speaking of attractive ladies, I noted this morning that the indefatigable Hugh Hefner is down to two live-in girlfriends, having broken up with main squeeze Holly Madison.

Read all about it here. It seems that Ms Madison was unwilling to continue on with the 82-year-old Mr Hefner because he didn't want to get married and have children.


Somehow, the thought that the over-80 Mr Hefner, surrounded every day by beautiful golddiggers, would want to settle down to a life of changing diapers and playing with toddlers strikes me as being a little ... well ... naive. After all, as Mr Hefner was quoted in the article as saying, "There's been moments that I've been down in the dumps about all this, and (my personal assistant) told me to cheer up and pointed out that there are girls lined up outside the front gate. At my age, that's hard to believe, but it seems to be true."

Go for it, Hef. I'll stick with my grandchildren. Somehow, I think I'm happier.

Have a good day. Send me your favorite picture - Photoshopped or not - of yourself. Mike, the one from the Post Office will do fine.

More thoughts tomorrow.



John A Hill said...

It seems to me that if you're using the headline "She's one of the folks" and if that is also what the party is trying to promote--then it somehow makes sense not to photoshop the picture.

But what do I know when it comes to making sense? I work for the government!

The Mistress of the Dark said...

She's one of the folks..yup brain dead and appealing to people that will elect anything cos it looks good. Good thing she's running with the old fart.

When McCain loses and I feel he will, not because I'm so in love with Obama, but because she's scared the shit out of most of the country.

7-Thumbs said...

Hmmmm, interesting how our society is so willing to call these three prostitutes Hefner's girlfriends. The fact that he says he'll just go out and get some more only solidifies the fact of what they really are.

Amanda said...

I hadn't heard the news and I didn't think anything bad of the Newsweek photo until I read your post. I'm not a guy and I think she looks good.

Mike said...

I thought a got all of those post office photos down. I guess I'll have to make the rounds again.

Bilbo said...

John, not surprisingly, you and I agree here.

Andrea, I've warned you about hiding your feelings...

Me, I'm not sure "prostitute" is the word I'd use, although I take your point. I think these women view themselves as taking full advantage of a situation that offers them a safe place to live, no money worries, and access to huge numbers of people in the glitterati set who could be useful in their future endeavors. That's not to say I agree, but I think I understand.

Amanda, I had noticed that you're not a guy...

Mike, I think the Post Office has people on a special detail just to make sure your picture remains up.

Melissa B. said...

Don't forget the magazine cover--could it have been Newsweek again?--that photoshopped about 15 pounds off of Katie Couric, another attractive woman who definitely does not need any photoshopping! As a former reporter and a current high school journalism teacher, I try to keep the kids and photoshop friendly on a "need-to-know" basis, because the program is oh, so convenient for cropping and sharpening images, but it can be misused in less time than it takes to click a mouse! You should eavesdrop on our conversations about "journalism ethics in the computer age." There are so very many ways to trip up!