If the image seems superfluous, validating how Tom DeLay has found his level as a has-been anchoring a cheap reality show, ABC in fact has afforded him the perfect platform.
From the Note:
DeLay's appearance on the hit ABC series is virtually guaranteed to elevate him in the public sphere. Sure he'll be talking about his two-step, but it's only a matter of time before DeLay, R-Texas, is talking about the political dance he was once the master of back in Washington.
"You're reaching an audience that otherwise is going to tune out politicians," said Stuart Roy, a former DeLay spokesman....
But it's the image that best amplifies the spokesman's point -- as well as the visual shrewdness that comes from pairing the opportunistic media and reality TV (the "Dancing With the Stars" premier drawing 22 million last season) with a stalking horse of the radical right. The ABC promo photo embodies all kinds of instinctual pulls and associations (from: the leading man; the star; the competitor; two thumbs up for the heterosexual couple; here-here for non-intellectual pastimes; the nostalgia for days gone by; the lure of sex, the dance as foreplay; let's party!).
And then, let's not overlook the RioBend logo on DeLay's shirt promoting the dancer's evangelical enterprise to reengineer foster care. As ABC TV, Matthews/MSNBC and DeLay himself well understand, life is product placement.
(image: ABC via TPM. If you check out the TPM slideshow, by the way, I liked image #4 which has a kind of S and M-ish quality to it.)
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