Sunday, September 14, 2008

Atlantic - The McCainiac Edition

A break from Palindemonium today with the latest over the top act from the left aimed at John McCain. In this case, The Atlantic used a photographer, Jill Greenberg, to do a photoshoot of McCain for their October addition. Ms Greenberg set out to make McCain appear as unattractive and menacing as possible. Add to that an editor who, reminiscent of US magazine, puts some negative wording near the McCain picture.

Perhaps its just me, but I rather like the above photo. Gift rap some 8x10's and send them out to the Axis of Evil, the OIC, and a few select others. Let them ponder the McCainiac as they assess their next moves. The world may become a more peaceful place.

The above photo is posted at Doug Ross's Journal and comes from a series taken by Jill Greenberg, a committed Democrat and a professional (that word used loosely) photographer hired by the Atlantic to take a series of photos of McCain for their October edition. As Ms. Greenberg notes, "[s]ome of my artwork has been pretty anti-Bush, so maybe it was somewhat irresponsible for them [The Atlantic] to hire me." This from the NY Post:

Greenberg, known for her heavily retouched pics of apes and babies, boasted to Photo District News that she submitted photos of the Arizona senator to the mag while barely airbrushing them.

"I left his eyes red and his skin looking bad," she boasted.

Greenberg also crowed that she had tricked McCain into standing over a strobe light placed on the floor - turning the septuagenarian's face into a horror show of shadows.

Asking McCain to "please come over here" for a final shot, Greenberg pretended to be using a standard modeling light.

The resulting photos depict McCain as devilish, with bulging brows and washed-out skin.

"He had no idea he was being lit from below," Greenberg said, adding that none of his entourage picked up on the light switch either. "I guess they're not very sophisticated," she said. . . .

But there is yet more to the story. First, here is the actual photo chosen from the series by The Atlantic for their cover:

And here is the commentary from Gerard Van Der Luen at American Digest giving the rest of the story:

Given the level to which the owner and the staff of the Atlantic are in the tank for Obama -- the owner's wife, Katherine Brittain Bradley, is on record in one instance for $28,500.00 to committees supporting Barack Obama-- even the cover-lines are not half-bad if a bit half-hearted. I'd only remark that it is no accident that the Atlantic's editor approved the upper red slash bar with the words "Porn" and "Adultery" in it. Editors, especially those whose paycheck depends on displaying their bias for their boss, love those little gotcha games. I know. I played them too.
But that's not where the Atlantic cover story stops.

It's a question, you see, of the disposition of all the McCain "out-takes" from this shoot. Out-takes are images taken of a subject at a photo shoot that are not used for publication by the client commissioning them. Typically, when you hire a photographer for a shoot -- and I have hired dozens over the years -- the photographer delivers all the film or digital images taken to the editor and art director for their review and selection. In a professional shoot these can easily be dozens if not hundreds of images.

But there seems to have been a "leakage" of some images between Jill Greenberg and her clients at the Atlantic. How intentional this is, how much the staff of The Atlantic colluded or did not collude with Ms Greenberg I have no way of knowing just yet. But at this moment Ms. Greenberg is displaying on her website (Hit refresh to cause the page to cycle) the following images which can only be based on out takes from the Senator McCain / Atlantic Monthly photo session [UPDATEWas it something I said? Greenberg has now removed the images below from rotation on her home page. The images below were there as of midnight, PST, Sept 14. The images are, as of now still visible via manipulator > enter > names > john mccain. UPDATE to Update: Those images are back at's home page. Look like Greenberg decided to double down and brazen it out.]

[Other pics at American Digest]

. . . So what we see here is a candidate for President showing up at a photo-session for a cover shot for a magazine he knows is not going to give him an Obama-pass, but still making time for it. Waiting for him is the contracted representative of that magazine, Jill Greenberg, who has literally set a trap for him and then lures him into it. She mocks the McCain staff for not being "very sophisticated" about lighting when, in truth, the lighting used for a professional photo session is very complicated. There are umbrella lights, fill spots, and a raft of others being used at any given time.

I imagine that Ms. Greenberg was in full charm mode with Senator McCain at the same time she was executing her little partisan plot. Indeed, I am certain she was nothing other than sweetness and light to him. What she was doing was quite another thing, a vile thing. Simply put, it was betrayal for a cheap political frisson for her.

Then Greenberg extended the betrayal to her Client, The Atlantic. She either did not deliver all the images of the shoot to the client or she began to manipulate them for her own uses as seen above. In this digital age, she probably ftp'd the images to The Atlantic, kept the originals on her own system, and then made the cheap and disgusting photoshops seen above.

I'm not sure how the art director of The Atlantic, Jason Treat, feels about this, even though I have written him requesting a reply. Still, during the years that I hired and worked with illustrative photographers, product photographers, news photographers, and fashion photographers in London and New York City, my art directors and myself always got all the film to review. Depending on the contract, the film would or would not go back to the photographer. When digital came it, it was always understood that the out-takes or images we commissioned and paid for would be kept confidential by the photographer -- as specified in the rights agreement. At the very least, we would have exclusive use of them for a considerable period of time.

One thing I do know is that if I, or any other editor or art director, ever caught a photographer using images held back for secondary profit outside of the contract, or using images in a way that would undercut our publication, we would pull that photographer's card out of the assignment rolodex. Not only that we would make it out business to tell other editors and art directors at other publications that such a photographer was never to be trusted again.

Ms. Greenberg may well have her opinions and is welcome to them. But to use the offices, reputation, and money of The Atlantic Monthly to fool and ridicule a United States Senator and candidate for President goes well beyond unprofessional conduct and into the area of fraud. . . .

Read the entire post. Also see Terry Trippany's take on all of this, including his turnabout photoshopping of Ms. Greensburg.

The lack of professionalism among so many of those on the left is just amazing. These people really are unhinged.


jim treacher said...

It's not just you. I like that top picture, and I like that this ditz actually thought she was hurting him by taking it.

vinny said...

Here is my take on NYT, WAPO, and the Atlantic. As far as toilet paper goes, they are kind of rough and inferior in quality to most other toilet paper brands.

KG said...

I love that picture!
What a contrast to the made-up metrosexual big-eared muslim's pin-up boy...

KG said...

hmmm..should have put a comma after "eared".
And does anyone else see a marked similarity between that pic and the wolf to the right of it?