Reading The Pictures: Alito's Final Pitch

05/25/2011 11:50 am ET
  • Michael Shaw Publisher of the visual politics and media literacy site, Reading The Pictures.


Ya gotta love yesterday's shot of Alito with Kentucky Senator (and former baseball star) Jim Bunning.

The visual allusions are abundant -- if illusory. Alito is a team player, a good sport, a future all star. The guy is ideal for the Supreme Court team because he's willing to play ball -- and cheerfully listen to advice!

This image, drenched in fame, nostalgia and Americana, is a perfect closing pitch. Except for one thing. Didn't the Senator know it was a blue tie day? (As a rule of visual rhetoric, Republicans typically lose the red ties when punch-pulling is called for -- as is the case with the party on the verge of a Dem-crushing victory.) If reports that circulated prior to Bunning's recent re-election victory are accurate, however, the baseball Hall of Famer and Republican poster boy could be excused for getting signals crossed due to his advancing senility.

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(image; Dennis Cook/A.P. January 24, 2006. Washington, D.C.)


Jim Bunning