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.: July 2006 --> Media Literacy: Illustrating the News

Media Literacy: Illustrating the News

» Media Literacy Moment: In May, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, wrote the President a four-page letter warning him that the failure to disclose secret intelligence activities to Congress may be a violation of the law. The activities were disclosed to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee by whistleblowers. But that's not why I called you here today.

I wanted to point out the photograph that accompanies the article (or did when I read it Sunday morning). It is typical of a photo selected to illustrate an article of this type: President Bush, caught in an uncomfortable moment, his back turned to photographers, head down, as if, perhaps, in shame.

But click through to the picture and you'll see that the caption reads "President Bush attends a Sunday morning church service in Washington, July 9, 2006". Now read the picture: President Bush, caught in a private moment, his back turned to photographers, head down, as if, perhaps, in prayer.

Context is everything in interpreting this photo, which was chosen—not to document the moment when Bush was confronted with his wrongdoing—but to illustrate a [repentant/wronged/uncommunicative/ashamed/angry/take your pick] response to the news.

 [ 07.10.06 ]



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