Sanitizing San Francisco's "Peace" Movement in Photographs

October 5th, 2005 6:28 AM

I may be a little late to the linking party, but InstaPundit brought many to this fascinating "Anatomy of a Photograph" from the Zombietime blog about a San Francisco Chronicle photograph from the local "peace" rally on September 24. If you haven't seen it, take a look. Every step back adds what Dan Rather loves to call "context and perspective." The truth about the "peace" organizers and marchers gets clearer. Many are vulgar. Many are not exactly geopolitically in sync with the USA (especially the girl in the Vietnam flag shirt).

The Chronicle got enough complaints, so they felt they had to respond on Sunday:

The Chronicle photo didn't exactly shout "Middle America." It was far more dramatic and displayed the protester in far more detail. If the newspaper was setting out to "de-radicalize" the scene, it did a pretty lame job. If the paper wants to sanitize a protest, it should forget tight shots of radicals in disguise and go for pictures of suburban moms with young children. Now that's centrist...

For the record, I didn't think the close-up photo was a good choice as the sole picture on the home page -- not because of the is-it-radical-or-not debate, but because it gave too narrow a sense of the demonstration. While a crowd shot might not have "read" as well in such a small space, it would have been more reflective of the overall event.