Archive for May, 2011

The photojournalism community is going haywire over a couple of Obama pictures from this week.  I like when the photojournalists flip out.  No matter how hard I try to look away, I get sucked in to theatrics.  Oh, the horror of the over-toned photo or the misleading crop.  The topic of ethics on pro photography message boards always burns white-hot, especially after the big, annual worldwide contests.  The subject is ablaze this week as well, what with Obama staging a photo op immediately after his address to the world that we got up in that mutha-fucka and shot the place up.  You see, the still photographers (5 of them) from AP, NYT, AFP, Reuters and an indy were ushered in to the East Room after the TV address.  The President then re-enacted the walk to and from the podium and the first 30 seconds of the speech.  Apparently, pretty standard stuff.  They don’t want the camera shutters making a racket while the dude explains how American ninjas just threw down.  My thought:  Who cares.  I’m not at all surprised to hear that the White House makes shit up.  This image is lame anyway.  I’m not seeing the importance of this image being made by a press photographer any more than I’m seeing an importance to prohibit the press from the room.  It’s important to know that the White House staff photog was in the room making pictures while the real address was taking place…just no press.

Far more interesting to me was this photo of the Situation Room during the operation.

Am I the only one who thinks that maybe we need to show the Sit Room a little design love?  I was utterly underwhelmed by the room environment as portrayed in this image.  I’ve read essay after essay discussing the significance of the President’s not-so-much seat at the table.  CNN’s most popular story today is one that partly examines the social impact that this photo will have on black/white relations.  I’ve read about the significance of having women in the room.  I’ve read about Obama’s posture, his seat height and his polo shirt.  I’ve even read about Hillary’s hand over her mouth, and how that may signify weakness on some level.  I also read she was trying to stifle a sneeze, which could still possibly signify weakness, as it’s quite obvious that only the weak sneeze.  And while all these observations are really great and significant and all, they bore me to near death.

What I want to know is where, for the love of God, are the glass walls with radar, satellite imagery and inter-active 3-D things?  Where’s the game-show plunger-like missile launch button?  How about a phone?  Why are they siting at a tiny, narrow table that was made larger with “leaves” in order to fit more people…like we do at Easter?  Why again is the Commander-in-Chief not sitting at the head of this mess of a conference room?  And why is Biden sitting up against the wall?  How is his bladder?  If he needs to excuse himself for a trip to the can, does everyone have to get up scooch in so he can squeeze by?  I mean, really?  Anyone?  I’m afraid I’m going to have to wave the “bullshit” flag on this picture.  I don’t know what this is or when it was taken, but there is no possible way that this is the White House Situation Room.  I’m happy to believe it’s a room in the White House, but the actual Sit Room?  You can forget about it.  Even though I was expecting, and hoping for more of a West Wing TV version, I can in no way believe that the real Situation Room table doesn’t have room for a laptop and a piece of paper.  My wife and I have a more substantial Situation Room than this to monitor parenting-related operations from our home.  Hell, the green room at the Academy Awards is designed and sponsored every year by Architectural Digest.  Can someone give the White House Sit Room a style hug?

A quick search reveals the “real” Situation Room.  Notice the big, proper chairs, stately table, arm-chairs along the walls, plasma screens.  Still nowhere near cool, but does beg the question: what is the ‘imposter room’ above, and why do they keep calling it the Situation Room when clearly, it is not?


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