Monday, December 19, 2005

A Beautiful Photographic Allegory

Forget the part about the fact that Valerie Plame is in her skivvies for just a second. Here is the full text of the Time Magazine featuring this picture (courtesy Drudge). Joe Wilson is looking victimized and serious and his wife looking awfully compromised in the background of this picture designed to create an eerie impression of violation. It does a very clever job of it, but I remain stuck on the issue that it was Valerie, not Joe, who was allegedly exposed. Nice imagery, but the artistic angle breaks down when one takes a second to remember that Wilson wrote this particularly hilarious piece, blubbering about how awfully his family was mistreated by the awful Republicans. And while the whole "outing" thing was supposed to be about her, her misfortune became his ticket to the media exposure and relevance in which he so willingly and frequently basked.

It all makes sense when one considers how much this Remington Steele-style marriage has worked to Joe's professional benefit. He got a job off of his wife, received notoriety when he attempted to overplay the value of that job, and contrived a hysterical claim that, a White House effort to set the record straight about his significance and that of his research, amounted to espionage. Then he accepted every opportunity to throw himself and, if convenient, his wife in front of every camera that would have him/them. And then, several unlikely sources, such as the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee, rebutted the claims underpinning his grandstanding.

And now, in another effort to remain valid, he takes center stage to the woman whom he claims was the real victim--all the while showing her off in her knickers in a national publication. Is there any exploitation to which Joe Wilson will not stoop in order to keep his name in lights? Because a really creepy move like this signals a degree of desperation, and frankly, smacks of a prostitution for popularity on a Clintonian scale.

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