Years ago, when I was teaching at the community college, on mornings I didn’t have a class, I liked to watch the Today show (while I stayed in bed and read the paper, too). One morning, the show (and probably the other news shows) was preempted by National Security Advisor, Condoleeza Rice’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission. It was pretty interesting, and I watched it all.
Later in the afternoon, I went online (to AOL, yes, it was that long ago) to read my e-mails, I suppose. The site came up, and there, along with other news stories and weather and that sort of thing, was a headline about the event, along with a photo of Dr. Rice. I was astonished. I had watched almost all of it, I think, and she was polite, and she occasionally smiled. She never raised her voice, even when the commission members raised theirs. She was absolutely professional. In the photo that AOL used for the story, she looked mean and vicious and hateful. I don’t know how that photo was taken. If there had been a flash of anger, I didn’t notice it. But, with all the photographers and videographers present, there was apparently a moment of great frustration or unhappiness that got on film. But I was really amazed that the sole photo used to illustrate the event was the antithesis of how she responded to the questioning. And my next thought was that the AOL folks didn’t particularly like Dr. Condoleeza Rice. “We don’t want a happy photo! We want a mean photo! Find one. NOW!”
Because of that incident, I’m apt to notice, and then make assumptions about, how the publishers and editors of papers and magazines and news programs feel about the people they write about. It’s been particularly remarkable these past few months and weeks. In some, Hillary Clinton looks professional, polished, and well put-together. And Donald Trump looks like a raving maniac. In others, Donald Trump looks capable, reasonable, and presidential. And Hillary Clinton looks like a sour-faced, dowdy, old lady. And we shake our heads or smile and nod at the photos, depending on how we feel about the candidates.
A couple of days ago, my new issue of the AARP Bulletin arrived, featuring a cover story about the candidates that explains where each stands on the issues. I think that every photograph and every highlighted quote would be considered appropriate and positive by the candidates and their supporters. If the folks at AARP have a favorite, I can’t tell which one it is. And I suppose it’s more likely that there are some that lean red and some that lean blue, just like it is everywhere. And they all probably made sure that the photos were non-discriminatory.
I tried to find the AARP Bulletin online, but the most recent issue is October. If you want to see November’s you’ll have to wait a few weeks, I guess. I’m reluctant to take a photo of it and put it here, as it is copyrighted and it isn’t even online, yet.
Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Never say anything that isn’t true. Have nothing to do with lies and misleading words. Look straight ahead with honest confidence; don’t hang your head in shame. Plan carefully what you do, and whatever you do will turn out right.
Proverbs 4:23-26 (Good News Translation)
And then there’s this:
I look up to the mountains;
does my strength come from mountains?
No, my strength comes from God,
who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.
Psalm 121: 1-2
Meanwhile, Peter came.
AND-We got ourselves a butterfly! (The link takes you to a post a few weeks ago, when it was just a caterpillar.)