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Archive for October 2012

Snark Factor Halloween Edition

Scary Cat

Listen live to the Snark Factor every Wednesday night at 1opm EST on FTR Radio where I will be joining Fingers Malloy, Irish Duke to bring news bites at the top of the hour followed by sparkling chats with invited guests. If you are a fan of my blog, you’ll know that I have an eclectic taste in news of the day.

On tap tonight:

Halloween Candy Redistribution:

What does Matt Drudge have up his sleeve? Do we really want to go there?


One Week




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Photojournalists Dirty Secret

Photo Friday - Self Portrait

That quiet man or woman behind the camera harbors a rather dirty secret……at one time or another they have purposely taken less than flattering photos of politicians with whom they disagree politically.  Photojournalists, myself included, instinctively understand the visual nature of human beings.  A good picture can capture a moment, effectively freezing the narrative and invoking an emotional response with the viewer. A photographer can create whatever impression they want with selective editing of their photos.

Pulitzer prize winning photographer Eddie Adams  once wrote about  the power of photography –   “Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.” 

In a recent article on Buzzfeed, Amy Odell examines the difference in the quantity and quality of photographs taken of Ann Romney on the campaign trail as compared to FLOTUS.  The article highlighted the ugly truth that photojournalists will purposely photograph politicians with whom they disagree with politically in unflattering angles or apply hideous crops during post processing of the photos. These photos are then submitted for sale to photo stock sites such as Getty and then published in newspapers and periodicals.  A ton of ink and pixels have been generated on the topic of bias in the main stream media, particularly with the arena  of modern day politics. The same can be said of photojournalism. In this case, photos, not words are used to shape an opinion.

The article focused on Getty Image editorial collections but Getty is not the only stock photography site on the block. AP Images from 7/1/2012 to 10/28/2012 reveal similar findings in photo quality of both women. FLOTUS had a total of 563 photos to Ann Romney’s 262 photos for the same time period.  P.P.E. Agency had no photos of Ann Romney and 105 photos of FLOTUS with a focus on her European trips and her derriere.   Reuters compiled slide shows of both FLOTUS and Ann Romney. FLOTUS garnered 40 photos in the slide show and Ann Romney with 28 photos. The differences in the slide shows reveal a startling level of  editorial control in an attempt to shape the public visual impressions of both women. I am serious. Go check out the slide shows and pay particular attention to the photo of both women addressing their respective national convention this summer. To make it easier – go to photo 12 on the FLOTUS slide show and photo 3 on Ann Romney’s slide show.  Remember these are the stock photography sites your local newspaper typically go to for images of national events and the photojournalists who work for these companies know this.

Part of my passion for photojournalism is to do my part to fill in the ‘half-truths’ with my own independent brand of photojournalism. I’ve covered political rallies since 2005 always pushing the technological envelope and being frustrated quite often :)  Today, the technology to instantly share photos instantaneously has revolutionized photojournalism. It is no longer a walled garden of select photographers crafting and editing their photos to shape public impressions.  Everyone with a cell phone or a point and shoot digital camera can be a citizen photojournalist – together we can fill in the ‘half-truths’ of photography.

Oh P.S.: FLOTUS = First Lady of the United States.

What are your thoughts on photojournalism? Share them in the comments section.


Rebuild America Bus Tour Rolls into Altoona, PA


H/T Marathon Pundit.

Rebuild America bus tour is holding a rally this Friday, November 2nd (voting day for some of you) in Altoona, PA. This organization has identified 5 swing states that it plans to focus its energy – Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. They believe that winning 3 of the 5 states is key for a Romney/Ryan victory and to that end have planned rallies in each of these states.

The Pennsylvania rally details are below. If you have time go check out the rally and don’t forget to take photos!

Friday, November 2nd
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Rally Location:
Bavarian Hall
1509 13th St
Altoona, PA 16601

Pennsylvania is showing signs of breaking from the tradition of electing the Democrat Presidential candidate this year. Although nothing in politics is certain until election day, polling data is beginning to show a trend towards both the Romney/Ryan ticket and Republican Senate candidate, Tom Smith. Rasmussen is now reporting the US Senate race in PA is essentially a tie.  While I am hesitant to call both of these races in Pennsylvania, this election will go one of two ways in PA: Tom Smith and Mitt Romney win PA or Casey JR and Obama will take PA.  This election comes down to a numbers game in Pennsylvania as there are more registered democrats than republicans. The outcome of the election depends upon which party can get more people to the polls. For Romney and Smith to have a credible chance to win in Pennsylvania two things need to happen – Republicans need a strong GOTV  drive in the suburban counties especially around Philadelphia combined with a sluggish, dispirited Democrat voter turnout in both Allegheny and Philadelphia counties.

 And that is my two cents on the election predictions. What are your thoughts on the PA presidential and senate race?


How to Survive Hurricane Sandy

Stormy Weather

While I don’t live in a flood prone area of Philly, I’m still taking precautions in advance of weather events due to Hurricane Sandy. The most pressing concern in my section of Philly would be a power outage. This afternoon, I put together a power outage kit containing a dozen pillar candles, 100 tealight candles, 4 long lasting jar candles, three flashlights – two which glow in the dark and one solar powered, a case of bottled water, assorted batteries and matches. Tomorrow, I plan to sweep away the leaves and garden debris from the back patio and remove all planters and trellises into the garage.

I’m ready for Sandy’s wrath.

Philly OEM released this alert:

The City of Philadelphia is preparing, and asking residents to prepare for  major flooding and power outages in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. A Flood Watch, Coastal Flood Watch and High Wind Watch is currently in effect beginning Sunday evening into Tuesday afternoon for the City of Philadelphia.  Heavy rain will begin Sunday and continue through Tuesday.  Between 4  -8  of rain is forecasted for Philadelphia. Significant localized and coastal flooding is anticipated for the city. Residents and businesses in low lying areas with a history of flooding during storms should prepare immediately.

Residents should call 311 for updates or to report issues.  The 311 Call Center has extended its normal operating hours and is currently operational 24/7 to help residents cope with the storm.

 The best bit of advice for any emergency is to stay calm and have a Plan.


The Killers – All The Things That I’ve Done


Philly Marathon Training Update

My new part-time job :) #redefinepossible @NikeRunning

Good Friend ‘A’: “Hey, Tania, how are you?”

Me: “The same – sore, tired and hungry.”

Good Friend ‘A’: “Ah, marathon training going well then.”


Snark Factor Tonight

Listen live to the Snark Factor every Wednesday night at 1opm EST on FTR Radio where I will be joining Fingers Malloy, Irish Duke to bring news bites at the top of the hour followed by sparkling chats with invited guests. If you are a fan of my blog, you’ll know that I have an eclectic taste in news of the day.

On tap tonight:

Debate recap


Buster’s 4th Adopt-a-versary!

It has been four years since Buster was adopted into his forever home. Where has the time gone? He still is the handsome, well mannered dog I encountered during a routine vet visit for my other puffball – Tiny. Buster or Mayo found his way to my veterinarian after he was surrendered by a motorist who witnessed a dog dodging moving cars on a very busy highway and was able to safely rescue the dog from certain death.

It only took a day to decide to bring this sweet boy home.  He immediately got to work on making himself comfortable after scarfing down Tiny’s food. She was not pleased at all with that behavior and to this day she makes a point to bark annoyingly at Buster while he eats his dog food.

Below the cut are a sampling of photos of Buster through the years. I’d have more photos but I quickly discovered that he is extremely camera shy. It takes a bit of work to snap a good photo of Buster, but I’ve managed to capture a few of them for your perusal.



Romney vs Obama – The Final Debate

Gathering of Eagles

The final debate between Republican challenger Mitt Romney and incumbent President, Barack Obama airs tonight. The topic of tonight’s debate will focus on foreign policy. Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida will host the final debate. The moderator scheduled for this debate is Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS.

This debate is one that can be lost by either participant. Mitt Romney returns with two sterling debate performances and election momentum on his side. The incumbent, Barack Obama, needs to cover a lot of ground to catch up and overtake the Romney momentum.

The wild card in this race will be the moderator. It will be interesting to note how Bob Schieffer manages this debate in light of Candy Crowley’s biased interference.

FYI: Popcorn and chocolate almond milk are the official food of tonight’s debate.

Let me know your thoughts about the final debate in the comment section. I will most likely leave only a brief review as I have an early morning running engagement.

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