Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Beyond bizzarre -- now they're hiding behind children?

Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News

A Buffalo News photographer shot this iconic photo that perfectly sums up the whole damn Foleygate scandal, which has rapidly moved beyond the "merely" sleazy, salacious and corrupt. Now it's an utterly surreal, blame-shifting mass abdication of all personal responsibility.

In an affair that's defined by the failure of adults to accept their responsibility to protect the young people in their charge, NY congressman Thomas M. Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, topped everyone by surrounding himself with the children of supporters at a press conference called to defend his role as a House Republican leader. The New York Daily News blog reports:
The Upstate media today is all about Tom Reynolds' bizarre press conference yesterday, at which he surrounded himself by small children. At one point, reporters asked if he could make the children leave so they could ask adult questions, and he refused.
Earth to Republican Party: Get a grip!

UPDATE: At least Reynolds has stopped hiding behind kids. His new human shield seems to be the First Lady.


Louis said...

It doesn't get any sicker then this.

Cranky Media Guy said...

You know the end is near for at least some big name Republicans when they stumble THIS badly. Normally, they run a VERY slick P.R. machine.

Reynolds thought that having the kids there would keep the press from asking the sex questions. For once, though, the journos saw through the transparant ploy. Good for them!

jonnybutter said...

Such a great photo. Thanks Madison Guy. The look on the boy on the right's face says it all.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I am linking this.

This is one of the most disgusting political acts I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm....i wonder where they got the idea to use children as human shields?

Great pic....scary Republicans just in time for Halloween!

IngSoc said...

Madison Guy:

Note the way the photo prominently features several prepubescent children, including one boy in the foreground of the picture. There appears to be a teenaged boy in the back left, but his face is obscured the girl's hair - he's easy to overlook. Note, also, the way the boy in the foreground is looking into the camera.

The boy is neatly juxtaposed with Rep. Foley. He stands almost exactly as far away from the center of the photo (imagine an invisible line approximately bisecting the little girl in front) as Foley. He is looking at the camera sidelong, and he's not excited about being there.

There is at least one other person standing in that formation near Rep. Foley. We can only see part of their arm at the right edge of the photo. I would guess a girl's arm.

The photo appears to be insinuating something. The little boy seems to ask you: am I bored -- or is something else bothering me?

And your text: "this iconic photo that perfectly sums up the whole damn Foleygate scandal" - How? The little boy is supposed to stand in for the teenaged pages?

Madison Guy said...

Ingsoc said: "And your text: "this iconic photo that perfectly sums up the whole damn Foleygate scandal" - How? The little boy is supposed to stand in for the teenaged pages?"

No, I was thinking more that dragging a bunch of kids out in public to stand there as props and have to listen as a bunch of adults discuss Foleygate is a form of child abuse itself. Look at the children in the photo. They don't stand in for anybody. They're just children being used by adults. Look at the man (Rep. Reynolds) at the microphone. See the face of a party (or at least its leadership) that uses children to score "family values" points but doesn't give a damn. At all.

thingwarbler said...

Someone over at firedoglake reminded me that this has been done before by our old friend Saddam. I dug up the image and, behold, the likeness is striking. The little guy on the right in the Reynolds shot and Saddam's reluctant guest, Stuart Lockwood, have that same "what the hell am I doing here?" look in their eyes.

Anonymous said...

In an earlier, more idealistic era of journalism, this photo would be a slam-dunk Pulitzer Prize winner.

Anonymous said...

actually... the kid in the front looks like maybe he'll end up being the brown shirt who comes and gets you in a few years...