Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds saw this picture of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, hanging out at the Kennedy Center Honors, in the White House Flickr, and he thought there was something... interesting about it.
He's not saying what it is, though, that caught his eye! He just says, you know, "analyze the body language." Analyze it! He is not telling you what to read into it, he is just saying... there is something about it... that is worth analyzing. This photo of our black president in a tuxedo looking at his white subordinate with narrowed eyes. Oh, wait, important political blogging update!
UPDATE: No, I don't think Obama's facial expression is just a fluke of when the shutter went off. His eyes aren't closed, as some with poor displays seem to think. Here's a detail from the frame:
Yes, exactly: upon zooming in President Obama looks 400 times more uppity. Oh, not that Glenn is calling him uppity! Because Glenn never explicitly calls people the things he calls people: he always always quotes a reader or links to someone else saying the thing he is not personally explicitly saying. Always. Ahem:
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Joseph Gautier writes: "If I really wanted to set my dad off, all I'd have to do is send him this photo. The amazing thing is, that it is found on the WH's flickr page. Proving that they don't see what we see." It's interesting to read the comments, where what people see is very different depending on who's posting. Well, Obama did say that he had cultivated the ability to be a blank screen onto which people could project things. . . .
Ok, but seriously folks... at this point, Glenn Reynolds has had enough fun with the picture. On to more important matters: he has successfully riled up a liberal! Rather, he successfully goaded Andrew Sullivan into asking what the fuck this post was about, and reading into it basically exactly what we read into it—Glenn finds Obama's expression insufficiently deferential—so that Glenn can say liberals make everything about race. It is an elaborate kabuki dance, political blogging. It was never about race! It was about... this look... this look the president is making, at Joe Biden, who is white... and how much this look enrages that one reader's dad, for some reason. Why must you liberals make that a race thing?!?
And, more: some random photographer (who is probably a very successful professional and not just some asshole with a digital-SLR and a blog) says it is totes a bad photograph that he would've discarded. This random photo from the White House Flickr account "again reminds me of how this administration seems to have become oblivious to the images they project to the public."
So. That is what this is about. Optics. PR. But definitely, definitely not race! Elitism, maybe? Yes, elitism. That's it!
Let us have a poll!
Oh, for good measure, here are some recent Glenn Reynolds hits:
- Happily jumped on the "this random out-of-context video of Max Baucus talking the way he usually talks is actually a video of Max Baucus drunk and my proof of this is that someone wrote it on YouTube" bandwagon. Then accused teetotaler Joe Biden of drinking beer in a video. When informed that it was non-alcoholic beer (which basically any political blogger should've already known), made fun of him for drinking fake beer "for show." Continued to pretend to not understand why people got so het up about him randomly accusing politicians of being intoxicated without evidence.
- Pretended not to understand how an image of Barack Obama shining Sarah Palin's shoes was racist, because he knew a white shoe-shine boy, once.
- Made fun of Andrew Sullivan for (in the words of a reader, natch) "being an endless hypocritical scold about waterboarding" (hypocritical? who has Andrew Sullivan waterboarded?) before announcing that while he himself is basically against illegally torturing and murdering people, he is increasingly sorta ok with it—because Andrew Sullivan, who is against torture, annoys him. (If this one individual post is not some sort of highwater mark for vile, soulless internet hackdom... well, then wait for the next one.)
It really looks like Glenn is auditioning for The Corner. He was King of the Make Believe Former Liberals Who Loved Bush and War in 2003 or so, but that was so long ago! No one really cares about him, anymore, so now he is, like so much of the right wing blogosphere, just throwing shit at the wall.
Important Political Blogging Update: Well, this website exists now. And one of the photos has a special surprise!