July 9, 2007

Voters of the corn.

I love the photograph the NYT uses for its article about how voters are getting tired of all the early presidential campaigning.

Let's get the most nondescript middle-aged woman in Iowa and pose her embedded in corn that grows above her head and out of the picture frame. And have her wear a shirt with a block pattern of green, blue, and white so that she appears camouflaged in the sunlit corn. And let all the east coast readers take one look and sigh that peasants like this are deciding things for us.

We're informed that this woman, Kathy Shaffer, voted for Bush twice, but now -- now! -- realizes how bad he is. (“I did vote for him twice, but I’m very disappointed in him... I have switched completely from pro-Iraq to ‘I want them home.’") You know what to think: Thanks a lot for imposing your inferior judgment on the whole country, corn lady!

35 comments:

ricpic said...

She doesn't look very cliche Iowa to me. They couldn't get a blonde Brunhilda?
I detasseled that corn one summer when I was 17. After that you love Iowa, forever.

Nels said...

So just how many teeth is she missing?

Roger said...

This sounds awfully much like version two of the immigration bill article. I would NEVER read ulterior motives into a new york times news story.

Troy said...

Maybe she would approve if Malachi ran for POTUS.

Pogo said...

Well, she's got teeth, so there can't be malintent.

Doyle said...

We're informed that this woman, Kathy Shaffer, voted for Bush twice, but now -- now! -- realizes how bad he is.

How is this less embarrassing than voting for Gore and then, on "national security" grounds, voting for Bush in 2004?

She might have been slow on the uptake, but at least she wasn't lured away from her party by George W. Bush's supposed terror-fighting abilities.

Was it the wolves ad that clinched it, Ann?

John Kindley said...

Instead they should have had a photo of the Halliburton shareholder who paid for the ads that influenced the corn lady who voted for the politician who supported the war that Bush built.

That's the guy who really imposed his inferior judgment on the whole country, not the peasant whose vote he bought.

reader_iam said...

What nondescript corn! Why, that corn could be growing in Indiana! Or Illinois! Ohio! Or ... .

But it's got nothing on that woman. Oh, no. Why, I have seen that woman, dressed analogously, within the past nine days alone, in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania (western and southeastern), Delaware (upper and "slower"), Maryland and New Jersey. Before the summer is over, I expect to see her in at least five other states, including--oh, the horror!--New York.

My God: The peasants are taking over the world.

What, then, must we do?

Wade Garrett said...

I'm an east coast reader, and I would never have had that thought. You, for many years, were an east coast reader, and you would never have had that thought.

But, hey, the New York Times is liberal, so any possible criticism is fair game.

Goatwhacker said...

I live in Iowa and surprisingly most of us don't spend the day standing in corn fields.

Troy said...

Goat... don't most Iowans spend their time waiting for the Well Fargo wagon and paying exorbitant fees to charlatans for boy bands?

Halliburton? Tin foil hat alert!

Beth said...

So here we have a woman, a citizen of the U.S. and apparently a resident of some agricultural area, who has the temerity to critically assess and reassess her thinking and come to new conclusions given new criteria and developments in our political landscape. How dare she!

Goatwhacker said...

Actually Troy the lady in the picture is from Clear Lake, which is near Mason City, the city that was supposedly the inspiration for The Music Man. She's an elementary teacher, so why she is standing in a cornfield is not clear.

I actually am like her in that I voted for Bush twice but am now ready to see him go, not just because of the war but several other issues. No one has wanted to take my picture though. There is even a cornfield a block from my house I could stand by.

Doyle said...

I just want to point out that Ann gets very defensive whenever someone assumes, based on a link to or quote from a particular story, that she agrees with its content.

Remember the photo that she took of all the liberal propaganda artifacts (Che T-shirts, etc.) and then indignantly demanded to know why everyone "assumed" she was making fun of liberals, just based on the photo?

Well let's just say her aversion to "reading too much into" stuff disappears completely when the stuff appears in the New York Times.

I mean you have to be very paranoid to think this photo is meant to demean its subject, and you have to be a little bit stupid to think that just claiming that was its intent is a remotely compelling argument.

But I guess Ann probably feels she has the elitist bastards on the run after her shocking expose on toothless-anti-immigration-man-Gate, and doesn't want to lose that head of steam.

reader_iam said...

ricpic: Mean to respond sooner, in amusement and recognition.

When we are East, my husband seems tall at 6 feet, and his 5'10" and 5'11" sisters tower. I don't stand out at all. But when we are in Iowa, he seems only average and I am positively squatty at 5'1-1/2" (yes, dears, I cling to that 1/2" with both hands). My son appears average in height among his peers out East, but shorter in Iowa. (He's far more slender than average in both places, however.)

Must be all that healthy peasant stock. Or something.

Wade Garrett said...

Doyle - fair enough, but here she goes beyond merely posting the picture, and puts words into the mouths of every person who reads the New York Times - a significant portion of literate people in this country. If you ask me, this is another example of Althouse's famous reverse-snobbery.

reader_iam said...

Just to be annoying, I just changed into plaid shorts (normally reserved for hanging with the kids out in the yard) and a dorky shirt to go out for a while with my husband before he returns to Iowa. I will have to steer the conversation to deliberately annoying topics, just for fun (I draw the line at drinking bad wine or beer, though), and contribute in as stereotypic ways as possible, my personal opinions notwithstanding.

Poor DH. Yesterday we were playing with onion rings (ordered for the table--and I am not kidding here; got the pics to prove it) and sliced pickles. Today we will play in a different way. We plebes must have our cheap fun!

And you think putting up with me in comments threads is bad... .

reader_iam said...

On a more serious note (not that I was kidding in my previous comment), I don't really buy that this photo was selected to demean. I think that's going too far. But I do think, whether consciously or not, that photos get selected, even taken, to present in snapshot (the other sense; pun intended) certain ideas about class and place, at least symbolically. It happens too often to be sheer coincidence. And I think the same technique is used in both liberal media and conservative media and along the spectrum in between.

Having been in positions where I both assigned and selected photos for publication in newspapers (and having accompanied photographers while reporting a story), it really isn't way out in left field--or right field--to assign some sort of meaning what pictures appear with stories. I personally wouldn't take the analysis too far, however.

reader_iam said...

Clarifications: 1)"a story" should be "stories" and 2) since I don't believe I've mentioned this in a long while now, in a previous life I worked as assistant city editor and assistant copy desk chief, among other positions in the print news biz.

I may be annoying, but I'm not completely pulling this stuff out of my ass. Just for the record.

Fen said...

Beth said...
Beth: So here we have a woman, a citizen of the U.S. and apparently a resident of some agricultural area, who has the temerity to critically assess and reassess her thinking and come to new conclusions given new criteria and developments in our political landscape. How dare she!

Heh. Its funny that, given the source, you automatically assume she wasn't quoted out of context or fabricated from whole cloth. This is the New York Times btw. I bet she sold a mac to Bill Gates too?

Internet Ronin said...

Ed Wood of Studio City?

Who's fooling who?

Seriously, I saw nothing wrong with that photo of Kathy Shaffer. Where you saw her as non-descript, I saw her pretty representative of her age group. The corn in the background may have been a bit much but I understand that it is pretty indicative of rural Iowa at this time of year.

As for what Shaffer said, there are a few million others like her in this country. To me, her simple statement demonstrates clarity, not vacuity, of thought.

Too Cool for School said...

Dear Corn Lady,

I agree with you.

2008 = referendum on Iraq

Best wishes.

Me

blake said...

Troy--

Is that a "Children of the Corn" reference? Most excellent!

I think it's pretty clear the time wants to show/reinforce the notion that Bush's support is eroding. Of course, I'm not going to bother to read the article....

Fen said...

2008 = referendum on Iraq

Are you even keeping up with what's going on in Iraq? Petraeus? Zawahiri? Surge progress? Anbar? Baquba? Or does that stuff really even matter to you?

Cedarford said...

Just another in a line of stereotypical photos that has made the NYTimes and the Lefty Sulzberger family calling the shots objects of laughter.

Any question on who the Sulzbergers idealize, and who they have contempt for, is quite transparent. When you see the photos from parties in a police shooting of a drug thug up, you know the picture of the "laughing killer cop" was carefully culled from dozens taken of the cop, just as famaily photos are carefully gone over to pick the one of the drug thug as an apealing and non-threatening 6 year old. The agenda of the Sulzbergers is clear when you see a toothless ignorant white trash woman in flyover country opposed to immigration amnesty. Obviously too ill-educated and backwater to understand the Statue in New York harbor is basically a tribute to Emma Lazarus, Open Borders, and Emanuel Cellar's vision of unlimited asylum and economic migrants allowed in so no more "St Louis's " happen.

A fun game amongst readers is now to "guess the agenda" of Pinch&Co with NYTimes news articles.

Dewave said...

I like how the unspoken assumption behind the "I voted for Bush twice but now I realize how bad he is" is that, given the chance, the person would go back and vote for the other guy.

I voted for Bush because I considered him a better candidate than his opponent. I am deeply disappointed in him and would bemoan the harm he's done to the conservative viewpoint if it werne't for the fact he hardly seems interested in governing as a conservative at all.

I have seen absolutely nothing, however, to make me think his democrat opponent would have handled things an iota better than he has.

If the Pelosi House is an indication, things could be even worse.

Palladian said...

"A fun game amongst readers is now to "guess the agenda" of Pinch&Co with NYTimes news articles."

Not a very challenging game is it?

News agencies love to use photographs to push agendas and promote things because with images you have plausible deniability. The New York Times is quite adept at using their sub-par Diane Arbuses to editorialize but all of them (if they're smart) do it to some degree.

Troy said...

blake... Thanks! The little dude in the Quaker outfit was creepy and Linda Hamilton should've broken out in Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, but that would've broken the mood I guess.

I don't read the Times much for Iraq news either since they usually report from the hotel (Roberts and Gordon being major exceptions.

Michael Yon carries the most cred for me

blake said...

Yeah, Yon's amazing. Reminds me, I need to go tip him....

Cedarford said...

Michael Yon carries the most cred for me.

Michael Yon just lost most of his credibility when he jumped the shark by swallowing a Shiite claim the Al Qaeda is killing Iraqi children, baking them as food, and forcing families to eat their own dead kin at cannibal feasts.

As he is about the only reporter out there in "Injun country" he is better than nothing...but he appears to be more "Geraldo!!" than Brokaw...

Emy L. Nosti said...

That photo is almost as wonderful as our state quarter; I know I'm not the only one who was annoyed with the design. Was this settled in the middle of the Happy Cows campaign?

Where are the danged motorcycles and beer? Even Iowa didn't put corn on their quarter.

Troy said...

Cedar,

If you read the post the quote from the translator is put in baldy without editorial comment. He even writes that he just wrote what was said without commenting on the veracity -- only the plausibility. If you don't think they kill children -- go to his site and see all the pictures.

Why would you not believe al-Qaeda has killed and does kill children -- especially since you (I assume) have no direct link with actions in Baqubah and he is right there? He has infinitely more credibility than any WaPo reporter from the Green Zone or other pundit sitting on hos or her ass here in the U.S.

Cedarford said...

Wrong Troy. No doubt exists that AQ Jihadis kill whole families of Shiites as heretics and defiant Sunni ones as traitors.

We are also in the children-killing biz in wartime. I assign little or no real moral opprobium, no weight to us whacking civilians with every 10th or 11th bomb we drop as unfortunate collateral damage in war - it's just how it is. We kill kids, they kill kids. mostly we do our whacking while complying with Geneva - the Islamoids, rarely do..

What the criticism is is that Yon is claiming, uncritically and without question, that fundamentalist Muslims in AQ have now begun to kill and bake children for dinner.

Every war generates preposterous atrocity stories debunked later. The actuality of war is bad enough, but reporters serving as propagandists 1st and reporters 2nd, somehow cannot resist passing on lurid atrocity tales as "motivators". Yon's equivalent over on the AQ side no doubt reports uncritically tales of drunken American soldiers engaged in homosexual fornication on the floor of the al-Dubbyihaha Mosque in East Barquba somewhere..American female soldiers handing out candy smeared with pork and a virus that makes young Muslim boys unable to sire children later.

Yon will have to dig himself out of the "cooked Muslim boys to go on the family dinner table" story.

Paul Brinkley said...

For readers' easy reference, the incident Cedarford cites is here:

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/second-chances.htm

I thought Yon went out of his way to dwell precisely on how credible that account might be. To wit, he observed that it was indeed unverified - and yet, given what has been seen on videotape, all over the world, it's not hard to believe.

I don't think Yon ever dug the figurative hole Cedarford claims he did, much less jumped in.

Fen said...

Thanks Paul. I also thought Cedarford was too quick to damn Yon.

Has anyone tried to confirm the claim yet? Maybe I can get ahold of CNN at the Hilton...