The Chris Matthews Show did a bit today about a picture of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney as they looked at their watches together. It’s a pretty fun picture, goofy like synchronized swim without the water. Matthews challenged his panel to each come up with a caption and they all did. (I wonder if he showed it to them before-hand? Probably.)
Then Matthews asked viewers to send in their own captions, and said that he’d pick one and announce a winner in two weeks. So far, so good. All harmless fun, right? Here’s the photo with my caption:
“Condi gets another five minutes in the bathroom but then we’re out of here.”
Here’s what’s odd about the whole thing. That photo is six-and-a-half years old. It was taken January 26, 2001 following the ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of State Colin Powell in the Oval Office. The White House released the photo in conjunction with President Bush’s first 100 days in office. The Washington Post used it this past week in their much publicized series of articles about the VP’s penchant for secrecy.
I’m a fan of Chris Matthews, in general, but it is head-scratching to me that the Matthews’s “rapid response team” trots out a nearly seven year old photo. Why? Just to play gotcha on the White House? But, if that’s their purpose, believe me, there’s all kinds of good material being generated by these guys in the White House every day. Just ask Jon Stewart.
In any case, since it’s getting so much publicity, let’s give some credit where it’s due: the photo was taken by Eric Draper, credited as working for Reuters.
In actual fact, though, Draper was the White House photographer who took it and individual news organizations that print it do so as if he was one of their own guys. That’s a story in itself.
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