Reading the Pictures: Model Candidates

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Michael Shaw Publisher of the visual politics and media literacy site, Reading The Pictures.

2010-01-14-HaroldFornNYTfrontpage.jpg 2010-01-14-HaroldFordRunningNYT.jpg

See a pattern?'s Scott Brown slideshow expresses how much national candidates, in our infotainment culture, look straight out of central casting.

I'm not saying the GOP's Massachusetts hopeful is a lightweight, but his particulars (both he and his TV wife are former models; he's well remembered as the Cosmo stud; he's a long time, and oft-photographed National Guardsman; his daughter -- a visible campaign presence -- was an American Idol finalist) have "eye candy" writ everywhere.

Of course, the media has been fully collusive in these affairs. For example, just consider Wednesday's NYT coverage of carpetbagger Harold Ford's potential NY Senate run. The pic above (left/middle) was on yesterday's front page, and the shot on the right/bottom accompanied the continuation, and the on-line article.

With an almost unintelligible Sara Palin also joining FOX news yesterday, call it the fashion of the times.

For a breakdown of the latest visual spin, visit

(NYT photos: Ozier Muhammed)