Watching Candidate Obama become President Obama has been interesting. One thing that’s caught my eye lately has been his treatment on newspaper and magazine covers. Pictures are worth a thousand tweets, so the saying goes, but the best thing about them is that you can say a lot without actually saying anything. For instance, check out this cover of Metro, London’s morning commuter paper, distributed in great bundles to morning commuters:
This is Obama in messianic pose, hand lifted in a gentle benediction. The stereo parallel with Martin Luther King, Jr. isn’t just a statement of achievement. It’s a statement of identity. These pictures, side by side, say that Barack Obama didn’t just realize Dr. King’s dream – in a photoreal sense, they make out that Barack Obama is Dr. King, back in the flesh, on the mall, decades later, leading his people to the promised land.
Interesting. The press was roundly criticized for being extremely uncritical of Barack Obama during his campaign for the democratic nomination. But there’s no getting away from the fact that he’s inspiring. Surely it’s one of his greatest assets as a leader.
Just how inspiring? Let’s take a look at the New Yorker this week:
Even more than Metro, this is identity – Barack Obama, father of the Republic . . . perhaps as a recompense for the cover of the July 21 issue? Remember this? Sparked quite a furore . . .
Two free evening papers fight it out for the brainspace of the return-commuters on the tube trains every night in London. On the day of the inauguration, they both had a rather funny juxtaposition of editorial and advertising content on their front page:
Well, welcome to the White House Barry.
No pressure or anything.