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From Reuters Best Photos of the Year gallery — #2 of 3. All the doubts and fears about the unknown nature of the Libyan rebels captured in one photo. Even if you missed the pointing finger sprouting from an arm clad in skulls, you get a feeling things didn’t end well for this young man.
Regarding the Reuters edit: The recurring theme is “photo that are emblematic” and it’s done very well. Something else that’s unique: it’s a gallery that reflects political strife and turmoil without a single politician pictured.
What’s remarkable about yesterday’s White House “Photo of the Day?”
Nothing. …Except that, on the day Gaddafi was killed, the Libyan’s spontaneously celebrated their liberation from forty years of deranged rule and the Administration could claim another major erasure off the “deadly enemies and dreaded evil dictator’s list,” the PR machine was touting a routine and completely unrelated award ceremony in the Blue Room.
On the one hand, you can call that “the Obama cool.” On the other hand, you know he’d be crucified for grandstanding.
(photo: Pete Souza/White House caption: President Barack Obama greets the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal recipients in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a medal ceremony in the East Room, Oct. 20, 2011. The Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, recognizes Americans who perform “exemplary deeds of service.”)
Bag’s Take-Away:My first take on Gaddafi’s attacked-riddled face? It’s the picture of bin Laden we weren’t allowed to see.
(photo: AFP/Getty Images)
1. Revolution begins at home.
2. Ron Paul costume party.
3. It’s the Economy, Stupid.
4. Looking the gift horse in the mouth.
5. The chickens coming home to roost.
(photo: Philippe Desmazes/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images caption: Libyan revolutionary forces rested Sunday outside a shuttered shop in Sirte spray-painted with the slogan ‘Today Libya, tomorrow Wall Street.’ Leaders said they captured most of Bani Walid but still face pockets of resistance. )
The Revolution is not only televised, it has a soundtrack. Maybe a laugh track, too.
But seriously… I bring you this picture because so many news photo galleries are so infested with play-acting rebels — playing guitar, flashing victory signs, generally yukking it up — you get the feeling sometimes they’re only there for the kill (Gadaffi) or to justify their airfare.
Bag’s Take-Away:Stairway to heaven? Here’s what you can do with your red carpet? Given how hard it is to find Middle East dictators after they get the boot, my title for this shot from the Lens blog would be: “Flight to the Desert.”
This “rebel” probably doesn’t know about Nixon’s iconic photo, but what the hell.
Full FP slideshow: Qaddafi’s Mile-High Club
(photo: Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images caption: A rebel flashes victory signs at the door of Qaddafi’s plane in Tripoli on Aug. 29.)
Bag’s Take-Away:I want to rejoice over a scene like this, as if I, too, had stumbled upon and donned the Colonel’s hat, or got to share the moment with my comrade who did. But then, how often does a photo like this simply serve as the high water mark for the hopes of the revolution?
(photo: Bryan Denton for The New York Times caption: A rebel fighter in Tripoli wore a military-style hat like the one often seen on the head of Colonel Qaddafi himself. The rebel was also carrying a scepter and had an enormous gold chain hanging around his neck.)
Bag’s Take-Away:The photo and caption fronting Saturday’s NYT was as strong a combination as I’ve seen in some time. Whereas so many war photos these days are either impressionistic, only loosely connected to a story, or illustrating a story that has more of a human interest angle, this pair — accompanying a report about the rebels advancing in Libya — is on the money. It’s not only documents rebel action in the main square as they take Zawiyah, the way these guys situate themselves in the pickup conveys the make-shift nature of the operation while the presence of the captured tank lends a temporal dimension to the photo giving you a sense of rebel momentum going back several weeks. Solid work.