March 30, 2006

Visual Emergence

Maybe it's because I'm a designer, but there is something about one of the stories that unfolds in this weeks Talking Points Memo that just flips my head a bit. It starts off rather innocuously, a republican candidate posts this photo, claiming it is of Baghdad and that things over there are not nearly as bad as the media is making them out to be.


So far so whatever, left wing blogger and bulletin board people start pulling it apart, is it really Baghdad? To many latin letters not enough arabic, girl is wearing a tank top, holding hands, weird ads, something is funny, something is boring, politics as usual, collective journalism, smart mobs, yawn, we've heard this story before haven't we?

But then. Well here is where my brain skips a beat, someone, don't ask me how, digs up another photo. Not the same photo this isn't some blasé plagiarism story, but a different photo, from a different source of the exact same intersection in question. A random photo off some random website. And it turns out that intersection, that street scene is, surprise surprise, some random suburb of Istanbul. Here are the two photos, with Josh Marshall's annotations:


And I'll admit it the whole thing just boggles my mind. How many intersections are there in the middle east? How many photo web sites? How many photos? This isn't some famous square, it's some random street, how in the world did someone, or some-collective-thing, dig that up in a day? Maybe it's random, or maybe it's a precursor, lets see. In any case this particular story has one last twist, fittingly visual. So the politician got caught, claims a staffer made a mistake, lets move on right? So here is the real photo he just posted, you know the one that shows just how safe the Iraqi streets are and just how the media is lying to us:


What more can I say, lets all move to Baghdad, the streets are safer than DC and for one the media has been driving real estate prices down instead of up...

Posted by Abe at March 30, 2006 09:47 AM

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