Last night 30,000 people gathered at Shadybrook Farm in Bucks County, PA for a Romney/Ryan rally. Despite the chilly temperature people patiently waited several hours for Mitt and Ann to arrive.
As I walked around the staging area, the feeling of the crowd was that of organic upbeat enthusiasm. People seemed hopeful and looking forward to election day. Presidential rallies are a quintessential American experience, something everyone should attend regardless of your political affiliation. Due to a tight marathon training schedule, the Romney rally was the only one I was able to attend this year and I was not disappointed by the show.
The dense crowd made photography a challenge and I glanced enviously numerous times at the photojournalists milling around their reserved media stand. One day, my friends, I’ll be on that stand. Mitt and Ann arrived to the Rocky Theme and the crowd when wild. I was able to capture video of Ann’s introduction of her husband, Mitt Romney.
When Mitt spoke, the energy of the crowd was electric despite the hours of standing and the cold temperature. Mitt was interrupted numerous times with chants of ‘Two more days’ and ‘USA, USA’. He gave a solid speech and soon it was time for my favorite part…
Fireworks!! I can never get enough of fireworks. What a great way to end a campaign rally.
What was your favorite rally the election season? Let me know in the comment section.
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.
UPDATE: Welch concedes; Tom Smith is the presumptive winner of the Republican primary PA Senate Race
UPDATE: Calling the Democrat Attorney General Race for Kathleen Kane
UPDATE: An ousting of ‘blue dog’ democrats in PA? As good as it is for the nation that Altmire and Murphy to have lost, they (the moveon.org wing) served their purpose and were expendable commodities. The Lid takes a look at the alarming claiming of the Democrat party by unions. Question is when will the Democrat party be owned by Democrats?
Pennsylvania law now requires all voters to present a photo ID in order to cast a vote. Tuesday’s primary is a dress rehearsal for the November general election. You will be asked for an ID, but not barred from voting if you do not have one on your person.
WHAT TYPES OF PHOTO IDS ARE ACCEPTABLE IN NOVEMBER?
Acceptable PHOTO IDs include:
• A PA driver’s license: currently valid or expired less than 12 months.
• An ID issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT): currently valid or expired less than 12 months.
• A currently valid U.S. passport. Expired passports will not be accepted.
• An active duty or retired U.S. military ID, including an ID for members of the PA National Guard: an indefinite expiration date will be accepted.
• A currently valid military dependent’s ID. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
• A currently valid employee ID issued by federal, PA, PA county or PA municipal government. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
• A currently valid ID issued by a PA university, college, seminary, community college or two-year college to students, faculty, employees and alumni. Expired IDs will not be accepted.
• A currently valid ID issued by a PA care facility (such as a long-term care nursing facility, assisted living residence or a personal care home). Expired IDs will not be accepted.
I have few politicians to endorse in this primary and with no further ado, here are my endorsed candidates:
“As the senator may know, I came to the floor a couple of days ago and made that comment, and the senator from illinois and I are in agreement, point number one. you can prioritize — I think the senator and every economist I know literally would agree. You can prioritize for awhile where you want what remaining money is left, but the message you send to the world, not just our markets but to the world, that the United States of America is going to default on its debts is a totally unacceptable scenario and beneath a great nation. We are in agreement. Number one: passage through the United States Senate of a balanced budget amendment to the constitution of the United States, as i said before, is not fair to the American people because, because the terrible obstructionists on this side of the aisle, the terrible people, their flawed philosophical views about the future of america is not going to allow to us get 20 additional votes from your side, assuming that you get all 47 since it requires 67 votes to pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. so i think it was not only wrong assessment … I think it’s not fair to the american people to say we can pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution through the Senate at this time.”
Like many others, I did not vote for John McCain in 2008 and hope his words will convince the GOP to nix his nomination for the bicameral joint budget committee. Do we really need a boxer or politician on our side who roots for the competition to win? I nominate Senator Pat Toomey to take his place.
Major components of the plan are highlighted in the WSJ article:
• Reducing spending: This budget proposes to bring spending on domestic government agencies to below 2008 levels, and it freezes this category of spending for five years. The savings proposals are numerous, and include reforming agricultural subsidies, shrinking the federal work force through a sensible attrition policy, and accepting Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s plan to target inefficiencies at the Pentagon.
• Welfare reform: This budget will build upon the historic welfare reforms of the late 1990s by converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant that lets states create a range of options and gives Medicaid patients access to better care. It proposes similar reforms to the food-stamp program, ending the flawed incentive structure that rewards states for adding to the rolls. Finally, this budget recognizes that the best welfare program is one that ends with a job—it consolidates dozens of duplicative job-training programs into more accessible, accountable career scholarships that will better serve people looking for work.
As we strengthen and improve welfare programs for those who need them, we eliminate welfare for those who don’t. Our budget targets corporate welfare, starting by ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that is costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. It gets rid of the permanent Wall Street bailout authority that Congress created last year. And it rolls back expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy, calling instead for a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation and exploration.
• Health and retirement security: This budget’s reforms will protect health and retirement security. This starts with saving Medicare. The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy threatens the solvency of this critical program and creates inexcusable levels of waste. This budget takes action where others have ducked. But because government should not force people to reorganize their lives, its reforms will not affect those in or near retirement in any way.
Slatecard, the right’s answer to the online fund raising powerhouse, ActBlue, has reorganized and is now open for business.
Slatecard allows those of the right persuasion to donate to specific candidates running for federal office across the nation. The developers of Slatecard note that support for state and local candidates is in the pipeline:
The Slatecard platform is available for use by candidates running for federal office and we hope to make this service available to state and local candidates where possible in the near future.
As a committeewoman, I am obligated to publicly support the endorsed Republican candidates. I certainly will fulfill my responsibility, yet would like highlight specific candidates that meet my conservative criteria. Slatecard allows me to compile a list of candidates that you, my dear readers, should consider supporting.
Go on and take a look at the candidates I’ve added to my Slatecard. Any additions or subtractions to this list? Let me know, leave a comment below.
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, would be proud of the Americans gathered for Restoring Honor, keeping his dream alive. His niece, Alveda King spoke to the 100,000 gathered on the anniversary of MLK’s speech.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the organizers at Independence Tea Party Association for organizing buses to this event. They filled 28 buses for this rally! They deserve a huge round of applause for this herculean effort.
This was a curious event for my to cover, as I’m not overtly religious and try not to mix politics with my faith. As most of the speeches were televised on CSPAN, I decided to take a closer look at the attendees. The crowds near the jumbotrons and the stage were nearly impossible to push through, so I wandered through the crowds between the WW2 Memorial and the far edge of the reflecting pool. Media of all description were interviewing attendees and I stopped to listen to some of the interviews. I even taped a snippet of one as well. Please note that you will have to turn your volume up to hear the interview; more importantly the focus of the interview was health care, not religion. Every attendee interview that I encountered appeared well versed in the subject matter of the questions directed to them. The best interview I witnessed was one conducted by a French news agency with two counter protesters. The ‘man’ dressed as Sarah Palin, when asked by the reporter, admitted he felt safe to don his costume in this crowd. How ironic is it that another ‘man’ with the same political outlook as this tool feel free enough to assault me at a Sheepdog rally in 2008. It gives you a real clear idea of where todays political climate of hate and violence really stem from.
My good blogging buddy, Andrew Ian Dodge, has stated in his review of an event he did not witness:
As a result of this event ( Ed. Note: Restoring Honor), Republicans will not win the Senate and it may also hurt their chances to win the House.
I have to vehemently disagree with Andrew on this. What I found at this rally were American patriots from all walks of life who are concerned with this administration’s fiscal instability, over-reaching government intrusion in private industry, and the Obamacare disaster. Oh, they just happen to be openly religious and vote. So what. I’m not intimidated by their religiosity. Somehow, Andrew Ian Dodge finds that condemnation enough.
This gathering of primarily evangelical Christians, most well informed on the issues, clearly and politely made their case to the lurking main stream media at this event. I even spied GOProud stickers at this event and missed the opportunity to photograph the stickers as I’m damn sure the MSM ignored it.
What happened at this rally was one not-so-religious blogger found common ground with with the overtly religious. No, no one tried to convert me (Thank you very much!), but common ground was found in fiscal responsibility, limited government intrusion in our personal lives and in replacing Obamacare. Even from differing religious perspectives, the uplifting principle of Americans free to build their dreams and creating a better nation for all was clearly communicated at this rally. It is truly the resurgence of the American Dream.
That is the take home message from this rally. Martin Luther King, Jr would be proud of this day and proud of our nation.
I look forward to November.
FYI: As always, the rally area was left cleaner than it was that morning and safer than normal. I had a great opportunity to remind folks of this at the rally. While walking to the rally, a woman a several feet in front of me unknowingly dropped a considerable amount of cash on the ground. A man behind me quickly alerted her and I could not resist in reminding the crowd around us that if that had happened at an anti war rally, her money would have been history. Quite a few chuckled in agreement, including the lady who recovered her funds.
Doctor Zero at Hot Air claims 300,000 in attendance. I can’t argue that figure.
House GOP leaders have planned a high-profile event at Washington D.C.’s Newseum Tuesday morning to launch the start of their “America Speaking Out” project.
Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is in charge of the initiative to result in the release of a set of policy items that Republicans would pursue if they won back control of the House in November.
According to officials involved in the effort, “America Speaking Out” will focus on gathering feedback from Americans on what items that lawmakers should be focusing on in the future.
GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) said on Monday “it’s part of a process of engaging Americans.”
Out of the box thinking – policy items derived from the people, not created in smoky back rooms and shoved down our throats. I will be following this project closely.
Now that Obama and the Dems are suddenly enamored with VAT (Value Added Tax). There are a few details that need to be spread far and wide about this ever increasing tax. The office of the House Republican Leader has compiled a list of 7 key points every American should be made aware of. After you are done reading the list, click HERE to find a local Tea Party group. Not reported at CNN: Republicans have crafted common sense solutions to help create jobs and immediately cut spending so we can restore confidence in our economy – i.e. NO VAT.