Another Point About The Atlantic and its Photo of McCain

Most discussion so far has centered on the photographer. The Atlantic‘s editor says she blindsided him by tacitly going out of her way to make McCain look bad.

But The Atlantic nevertheless used one of Greenberg’s photos on its cover. It may be the least bad of the photos but it’s still, I think, an unflattering portrait. It is harshly lit and makes McCain look older and uglier than he is. The editor calls it respectful, but I don’t think that’s plausible unless you ignore the flattering portraits of Obama that are everywhere. Why not make McCain look better? They could have bought a better photo from Getty. They weren’t obliged to use Greenberg’s work. (If you are going to make a respectful portrait of an older man or a middle-aged woman, you don’t use harsh, direct light that casts shadows and accentuates skin flaws. Look at the diffuse light in the photo of Greenberg on this page. That’s the kind of light she should have used on McCain. The Atlantic‘s staff know this stuff.)

It looks to me like the magazine wanted to denigrate McCain in a way that was subtle enough to be deniable.

UPDATE: Neptunus Lex posts The Atlantic‘s Obama and McCain covers side by side.

6 thoughts on “Another Point About <i>The Atlantic</i> and its Photo of McCain”

  1. They had to have seen the other photos that they didn’t use. They didn’t notice a pattern? Their decades of journalistic experience didn’t warn them that there was something wrong?

  2. I get the Atlantic. It used to be good. Once Michael Kelly died, it gravitated back to being a plain vanilla squishy-Lefty magazine. The book reviews and Robert Kaplan, the odd good article, and tne low price, make me keep subscribing.

    But there is zero doubt that the cover is a hit job on McCain. The Atlantic, like the rest of the MSM is in the tank for The One, The Only Messiah.

  3. Personally, I think the cover shot makes McCain look steely, resolved, and very leader-like. Sure, he wouldn’t want it on his dating profile, but who votes for a soft-lit pretty boy? Should they have put a rose in his teeth like they do with Obama?

    This dingbat Greenberg has ruined her career and ultimately provided a boost for McCain. The Atlantic got a big black eye — they say they will not pay her, and are considering legal action. I just don’t see strong evidence that the shenanigans extend to them.

    Of course, I haven’t read the whole article yet…

  4. A relatively small number of personality types may agree with ArtDodgerin in appreciating steely resolve, but on balance I agree with Lex. Even the blind can see that the Media is so far in the tank that they’ve merged with it’s inner surface to become part of the tank itself.

  5. Wow, you guys sound like my two year old whining so much. Hey, it easier than talking about the financial crisis, I guess.

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