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Time to Expose Staged Video and Photos Ops

In the past I have ranted about how the spin doctors set up photo ops, which photojournalists and videographers treat as reality. Shame on all parties involved.

Now Salon provides excerpts from  “Machiavelli’s Shadow: The Rise and Fall of Karl Rove,” published this month by Modern Times. It shows how phony and misleading these uncritical photo opportunities can be. This one was during Katrina. Here is Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana talking about taking George Stephanopoulos up in a helicopter to show the aftermath of Katrina, she is saying:

‘George, before we finish I have to show you one positive thing because I can’t send you back to Washington to produce a story that shows nothing but devastation and disaster.’ So I told the pilot to tack right so I can show George the 17th Street Canal and the work that was going on there. I swear as my name is Mary Landrieu I thought that what I saw with the president was still there — people working, trucks, sandbags, everything. Then I looked down and saw one little crane. It was like someone took a knife and stabbed me through my heart. I lost it.” There, in the cabin of the helicopter, as they flew above the breached canal below them, Landrieu sat devastated.

“I could not believe that the president of the United States, staged by Karl Rove himself, had come down to the city of New Orleans and basically put up a stage prop. It was like you had gone to a studio in California and filmed a movie. They put the props up and the minute we were gone they took them down. All the dump trucks were gone. All the Coast Guard people were gone. It was an empty spot with one little crane. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen in my life. At that moment I knew what was going on and I’ve been a changed woman ever since. It truly changed my life.”

The White House might have some explaining to do, but so must the media. It is not too late. One of the media that shot the original footage should come back and step by step talk to everyone who helped set up that staged production that day. The Coast Guard folks, the contractors, the dump truck drivers, the media and all the folks at the White House.

Most people get their news through video and photos, not to expose these staged productions is to endorse them and give them credence.

One Response to “Time to Expose Staged Video and Photos Ops”

  1. Notes from a Teacher: Mark on Media » Monday squibs Says:

    [...] Time to Expose Staged Video and Photos Ops. Photo ops and staged events are the lifeblood of politics and PR. I agree with Len Witt that journalists should be exposing this sh**, not enabling it. [...]