Reading The Pictures: On Verge Of Nomination Speech, Obama The Menace

09/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Michael Shaw Publisher of the visual politics and media literacy site, Reading The Pictures.
Oct-06-Time-Obama Time-Obama-Dnc-Cover

As the convention pivots, turning its attention to the nominee, I'm concerned in advance as to how the traditional media will frame (poor choice of words, I hope) Barack Obama.  If the cover of TIME's convention preview is any indication, however, we're in trouble.  (By the way, I have examples in hand of three more convention-related publication covers that will really trouble you.  I just need to find a scanner from the middle of the media/blogging beehive I'm in to bring them to you.)

Compare the new TIME cover with their October '06 edition when Obama was still, what they termed, a "fresh face" (as opposed to a man, they see now, as having at least five of them).  What was a smile then has turned toward a grimace.  The eyes are slightly narrowed conveying more wariness, even skepticism.  And then, in place of the white background and the proclamation of a title, Obama floats ominously in the dark, the color contrast and his merger with the shadows making him darker as well.

For more of the visual, including our continuous coverage of the DNC live from Denver, visit

(image 1: Barack Obama, image 2: Platon for TIME)