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The Conservative Crazy Eyes Cliche & Other Stupid MSM Photo Tricks

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 8, 2011 05:56 AM

Sigh. Seriously, Tina Brown?

Yes, I’m talking about you, Oxford University-educated Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown.

You’ve resorted to recycling bottom-of-the-barrel moonbat photo cliches about conservative female public figures and their enraged “crazy eyes?” Really?

Who’s in charge of Newsweek cover graphics now — a Media Matters Soros Monkey? A random Daily Kos commenter? Keith Olbermann’s intern’s intern?

The once-mighty Newsweek magazine-turned-Beast is apparently so proud of its Democratic Underground-pandering Michele Bachmann cover and title that its editors are promoting the photo and pushing the hashtag #QueenofRage on Twitter.

And the left-wing press is eating it up:

Gawker, predictably: “Ha ha, just kidding—they don’t call her CrazyEyes for nothing.”

The Village Voice rejoices after receiving a high-res image of the cover (and dutifully cropping Bachmann’s eyes).

More reax: Newsbusters and Dana Loesch (who launches her own caption contest for Tina Brown).

Rep. Bachmann is unabashedly conservative, willing to take both parties’ leaders to task, passionate about her work, popular with grass-roots activists on the Right, committed to reining in the size, scope, and power of government, and yes, expressive. For all this, she must be destroyed.

No doubt the editors and photog will deny doing anything to make Bachmann look bad.

But here’s what GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann looks like in a straight photo.

A link-filled reminder: The liberal media fetish of demonizing conservative women and their looks goes back years.

In 2005, I blasted USA Today for altering a photo of then-GOP Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to demonize her eyes. The before:

Beautiful Condi

And after:

Beelzebub Condi

After a massive backlash from bloggers, commenters, photography software experts, and readers who called out the newspaper’s sneaky photo doctors, USA Today removed the retouched photo and admitted it had been enhanced — “giving her eyes an unnatural appearance. This resulted in a distortion of the original not in keeping with our editorial standards.”

It is, however, in keeping with the “crazy eyes”/”batsh*t crazy” narrative that’s a mainstay in the progressive blog sewer:

As documented by Karrin Anderson on the left-wing blog Bag News Notes, the Bachmann-eye-bashing editors of Rolling Stone and the Huffington Post already beat Brown and her Newsweek/Beast to the punch.

Yep, the magazine that popularized those “conventional wisdom” charts is now slavishly following the conventional crap-flinging of puerile progs on the Internet.

When I came out with Culture of Corruption in 2009, for example, one Soros-employed lefty’s response consisted entirely of multiple freeze-frame shots of my “crazyface” and “wide-eyed zealot” TV appearances, including these:

To repeat what I said last month: I’d rather have “crazy eyes” than willfully blind ones.

Also: “Crazy eyes” are also useful for doing the Mom Death Stare on unruly kids. Invaluable weapon. Wouldn’t trade these peepers for anything.

While Anderson notes that a few liberal female politicians also have faced the exaggerated crazy-eye photo treatment, she fails to recognize that those images are almost all relegated to Internet humor/blog sites — as opposed to the mainstreaming of demon conservatives images by national media publications.

As faithful readers will recall, The Atlantic magazine hired unhinged photog Jill Greenberg in 2008 to take a cover photo of then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain…

…which Greenberg then altered for her website thusly (this is just one of several bizarro images she photoshopped and featured on her professional website)…

…causing The Atlantic to issue this mortified editor’s note:

We stand by the respectful image of John McCain that we used on our cover, and we expect to be judged by it. We were not aware of the manipulated and dishonest images Jill Greenberg had taken until this past Friday.

When we contract with photographers for portraits, we don’t vet them for their politics—instead, we assess their professional track records. We had never worked with Jill Greenberg before (and, obviously, we will not work with her again). Based on the portraits she had done of politicians like Arnold Schwarzenegger and her work for publications like Time, Wired, and Portfolio, we expected her, like the other photographers we work with, to behave professionally.

Jill Greenberg has obviously not done that. She has, in fact, disgraced herself, and we are appalled by the manipulated images of John McCain she has created for her Web site.

It wasn’t just about vetting her political views, though. It was her previous record of unethical and unprofessional behavior motivated by left-wing malice. Greenberg tricked McCain into standing over a light to create ugly shadows on his face. Manipulation is her stock and trade. (Indeed, it’s her Twitter handle.) Four years earlier, she deliberately terrorized children, stripped them, ordered parents to “step out of the studio for a couple minutes” in concerted attempts to make children cry who were not cooperating, and then captioned the photos of the children with anti-Bush slogans.

Later, she admitted to trying to make Glenn Beck look bad (a failed attempt that he laughed off) in photo art published by Time magazine.

Time magazine has previously carried distorted photos and photoshops of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.


Disseminating unflattering photos of conservatives isn’t journalism. It’s Alinskyite narrative-shaping. And for holier-than-thou highbrow poseurs from Time and Newsweek to the Soros zoo and rage photog Jill Greenberg, it’s a hard habit to break.


Question: When was the last time Time or Newsweek put a halo around a conservative politician? Hmmm?

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