Monday, February 04, 2019

The Power of Images

Pictures and words: Both are powerful. Governor Ralph Northam’s remarks about an abortion bill last week put him on the hot seat, but pictures from an old yearbook released a couple of days later left him hanging by a thread. He began the week describing how a newborn baby would be kept comfortable while parents and doctors discussed killing it. Two days later he tried to explain two of his old pictures: one in blackface; another of a figure wearing a KKK hood. If he has to resign, it’ll be the pictures that force it and not his talk of killing babies after they’re born.

The Congressional Black Caucus knew a 2005 picture they had of then-Senator Barack Obama smiling with Black Muslim Minister Louis Farrakhan would make his election to the White House difficult, so they buried it for twelve years. It only came to light in 2018 when his second term was over. "I do believe that it would have had a very, very negative effect in that given moment as far as the candidacy of candidate Obama at that time," says Dr. Shayla Nunnally, president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.

As I’ve reported before in this space, my students often debated abortion in my classes. During one of the first debates, pictures of aborted babies were introduced by the pro-life side and it was all over. The pro-choice side conceded immediately. After that, I made a rule against using them. The purpose of debating was expressing ideas, making coherent points and counterpoints, and stimulating thought. The pictures were so powerful they prevented that exchange and rendered mere words superfluous.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) knows the power of images. Shortly after announcing her candidacy for president two weeks ago she took on the gun lobby. Referring to a failed gun control bill following the Sandy Hook massacre, she said: "This is going to sound very harsh, [but] I think somebody should have required all those members of Congress to go in a room, in a locked room with no press and nobody else, and look at the autopsy photographs of those babies.”

However, when at least one video image of a baby murdered at an abortion clinic was revealed during Harris’s tenure as Attorney General of California, she worked to suppress it, claiming it was deceptively edited. Together with videos of abortionists discussing how they try not to crush heads and other body parts so they could sell them later, those images threatened government funding of Planned Parenthood and exposed it to prosecution for trafficking in aborted babies’ body parts. Dozens of undercover videos had been recorded at public events attended by David Dalieden and abortionists, then released online.

Planned Parenthood was a major contributor to Harris’s US Senate campaign. In April 2016, her office sent eleven agents to raid Dalieden’s home and seize all his equipment and remaining videos after which Dalieden released a statement saying:

Today, the California Attorney General’s office of Kamala Harris, who was elected with tens of thousands of dollars from taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood, seized all video footage showing Planned Parenthood’s criminal trade in aborted baby parts, in addition to my personal information. Ironically, while seizing my First Amendment work product, they ignored documents showing the illicit scheme between StemExpress and Planned Parenthood. This is no surprise–Planned Parenthood’s bought-and-paid-for AG has steadfastly refused to enforce the law against the baby body parts traffickers in our state, or even investigate them–while at the same time doing their bidding to harass and intimidate citizen journalists. We will pursue all remedies to vindicate our First Amendment rights.

President Trump felt the power of images while campaigning for president in 2016 after NBC released a video of him talking to someone about grabbing women by their genitals. While he squeaked by in the November election, the video definitely cost him support among women. The day after his inauguration, hundreds of thousands marched wearing “pussy hats” in Washington, DC. Tens of thousands more marched in cities and towns across the country.

A dorky-looking picture of Governor Michael Dukakis wearing a helmet in a tank may have contributed to his loss against George H. W. Bush in 1988. An image of John Kerry crawling around in a spacesuit at NASA hurt him in his campaign against George W. Bush in 2004. Richard Nixon reinforced voter impressions of being too stiff when a picture emerged of him walking on a beach in San Clemente wearing his wing tips.

How many words is a picture worth? Sometimes it seems like way more than a thousand.


Uber_Fritz said...

Tom, sorry to resort to a cliche, but a picture is worth a thousand words. You may recall a particular episode of MASH where the surgeons were treating a bomber pilot. He made a statement about reaching altitude and dropping the load. His attitude was one of indifference. Hawkeye and BJ took the pilot through the wards to see his handy work. Although fictional, the point was made.

Anonymous said...

Not receiving much attention was the $3 million donation to Northam’s campaign from Planned Parenthood. Our political class seems they have NO moral compass and will do anything no matter how horrendous for money and power. What does that say about those who elect them?

cowboy ted said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cowboy ted said...

With insurance and birth control options for women, not to mention the school health classes, there is simply no excuse for an abortion. The leftists spend more concern with animals than the unborn. Save the dolphin, kill the unborn seems to be their montra. I say, save the dolphin and the unborn for life is life. It is absolute. Any elected government official who supports killing an unborn child, or immediately born child should be fired. My personal story reflects a life whose mother could have aborted and did not. This young girl went on to become a grandmother of wonderful children. We do not know how many aborted children could be the next Einstein or brilliant inventor. I can understand if there were no birth control or insurance available as in years ago, as well as the taboo nature of this then, but in this day and age abortion should never be the remedy for irresponsibility and immaturity. If you are not responsible enough to get birth control then you should not be having sex. If a young man and woman are in love, then they should go to the doctor's office and elect the birth control method that will protect them and to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Plus, there are simply too many cases of depression with women who have aborted. I'm not even mentioning the disgusting business of selling body parts or the planned parenthood money-maker. Our violent culture will not change until the value of human life is restored.

Jay said...

Speaking of images, watching the democrats sitting on their hands during parts of the SOTU address tonight was a little annoying. The President could have said that he had just cured cancer and the dems would have sat there. I was particularly annoyed when the President talked about enacting legislation to stop partial birth abortion and the dems sat on their hands. So one side of the isle is for killing babies and the other is not. The contrast was stark and more apparent then ever.
That’s an image that will hopefully illustrate to more people what the democrats are all about.

Mr Ed said...

Trump serves up big nothing burger at State of the Union address. Ann Coulter has him to a T. Trump's no 3d Chess Player, all his supporters were saying how Nancy Pelosi had fallen into his trap and the SOTU was going to be fire and brimstone.

No, just more lip service from another DC politician, there is nothing to see here about Trump. Another charlatan, he'll be a one termer, no reason for the democrats to even impeach him.

CaptDMO said...

Oh sure a picture's worth a thousand words.
But the caption can certainly initiate the wrong ones.
"Potemkin villages"
Composites, context, and airbrushes, can lie just as well as any
"Can't you take a joke" late night "comedian", or any desperate "entertainer" on (ie)Twitter.
"...but you can't fool ALL the people, ALL the time!" can be problematic when THOSE people are the vast minority!
Dunning Kruger, and Gell Mann Syndrome.

Sami Gay said...

"The President could have said that he had just cured cancer and the dems would have sat there."

No, more than likely they would have snickered in a similar manner as the world leader at the UN, because nearly everything that comes out of his mouth is either a lie or a gross exaggeration. He has earned mockery, not respect or applause.

Mr Ed said...

Sami Gay

I'd say the whole permanent state along with the majority of congress have earned mockery, not respect nor applause. DC is just a den of thieves, the idea that many point to only Trump is ludicrous.

22 Trillion dollars in debt, wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, US military bases across the globe and the big squabble is over 5 billion, that is laughable.

Pelosi, Occasional Cortex, Schumer are the scourge of America. The only caveat is the criminal Clinton is not in the white house

Jay said...

For someone who has ‘earned mockery’ his poll numbers are still pretty good and a 76% approval on his SOTU speech. I would also like to know exactly what the President said last night that is a lie or a ‘gross exaggeration’.

Anonymous said...

The SOTU speech was great. Even a CBS poll gave it a 76-24% favorability rating.

Bernie’s face was precious when President Trump said America would never become a socialist country. Nancy’s facial expressions were priceless...and, scary. Yikes!

As for the white-jacketed harpies posing as Congresswomen, the scene was cringeworthy every time they were panned by the cameras. How can anyone take these fools seriously? What a disgraceful lot!

Mr Ed said...

Well we will see what lip service amounts to as far as Trump's SOTU show goes.

Let's see how many miles his "build the Wall Miles" actually amounts to before 2020, whether national emergency or stopping another genocide, the man is quickly becoming a joke, a permanent estate joke, a I'm not a russian joke, we can nuke russia or china joke.

We have seen these jokes for decades, from clinton through Obama to Trump, when will conservatives actually realize that the 2 party farcical just wants to mine whatever we have left for wealth, and for them to have a nice vacation third home in some tropical place.

Trump is a charlatan, a rush, the only thing the asshat has done is vitalized the left to occupy every lefty state in this country for socialism. He is our worse enemy, just see what he has energized on the lefty side of politics, promoted by the legacy media and permanent state.

At least he ain't Hiliary, or would that actually give us a realization of what we are up against, instead of waiting for Mr 3 d chess man to come up with action, rather than lip service.

Yes the holocaust, how current, Mr Kushner.

Shane said...

The SOTU was a joke and another israeli love fest, wtf is with this obsession? Why on earth do we give a rat's a%% about this apartheid state that has waayyy too much control over our gov't. Where is the outrage in the "media", oops, that's right, they all tow the zionist line. And a group of freshman congressman just returned from their special trip! Can you imagine if they went to Iran instead!?!? Haha.. Every year this happens folks...Why?? How is this even legal?

The wall? Who cares, you may want to start asking yourself why we are forced to serve Israel. Enough is enough. You can lose your job for supporting BDS people!!! In America!! Hello!!!!I thought we were a sovereign nation? We are their bit&^ no question about that anymore. Apparently y'all are ok with this. Which is utterly insane folks! You may as well be a bible belt half wit praying for the rapture---that is the zionist base in this country, the only people dumb enough to brainwash with scary stories from the bible. Unreal.....

Brian said...

jay said "I would also like to know exactly what the President said last night that is a lie..."

There are a bunch to pick from, but I will go with:

“The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world.”

This is a lie. Forget that Trump is riding the coattails of Obama's economy and let's deal with the following facts:

The American economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Growth in Latvia and Poland was almost twice as fast. Same for China and India. Even the troubled Greek economy posted stronger growth. And a wide range of economic analysts estimate that the growth of the American economy slowed in the fourth quarter, and slowed even further in the first month of 2019.

Mr Ed said...

"Forget that Trump is riding the coattails of Obama's economy and let's deal with the following facts:"

Now that is funny, Trump is riding on the same Fed Rate Bubble that he pointed out while campaigning, the funny thing is that Brain thinks it was Obama's policies that led to the boom, the other funny thing is that Trumpsters thinks it is because of Trump's policies now, and Trump with his ego, my god, of course its all me me me.

Amazing how Americans have such a limited attention span, Hey the Pat's won the superbowl, let's all drink, what a bunch of stooges.

Anonymous said...

Shane seems to have an psychotic breakdown when discussing Israel which is the only Democracy in the Middle East. Maybe it’s their 156 Nobel Prizes mainly in science with a worldwide population of 15 million that he detests? Compare that to the Muslims who only have 7 awards with a population of 1.5 billion. One of those went to the terrorist Arafat. Could it be that book the jihadists are fond of defending that’s holding them back intellectually?

My guess is that Shane hasn’t heard about Islam’s 14 centuries of Jew hatred or the Holocaust either. I’m a Christian but support Israel’s soverighnty and its claim to its historical roots, not the fake Palestinians who are Arab refugees. The wall built in Israel keeps them safe from all the psychopaths trying to destroy the country. It’s time we get our “big, beautiful wall” built to do the same...and have Shane occupy the other side of it.

Unknown said...


Give us a break, anyone who doesn't follow NYT and WAPO with baited breath knows Gaza is just an open air concentration camp. You can say whatever about muslims etc but Israel treats the Palistinians and it's neighbors like dogs.

Ivanaka and Kushner have Trump's ear, the vast majority of congress has been bought and sold or live in deadly fear of the Israelis, who have a right to defend themselves, even if you live half way around the world.

Jay said...

I personally like the power of the image of our President at 52% popularity rating. Pretty darn good considering the main stream media has given him and his supporters 93% negative coverage over the last two and half years.

Brian said...

I personally like the power of the image of your president at 40.3 approval rating. Pretty darn pathetic considering how the delusional who consider him their golden idol have given him their 100% approval.

Jay said...

52% approval rating. I believe his great SOTU address helped him a lot. Images of the moronic girls in white sitting on their hands while others cheered for the great things that are happening because they were waiting for queen Pelosi to approve. Images of the dems sitting on their hands while a border agent hero was introduced who saved many many lives. Lowest Hispanic and black unemployment in many many years and the dems sat on their hands. Such is the nature of the modern day democrat party. A lot of people saw that and realized just what really is happening in this country. The fake news media could not spin it. It was right there, for all to see.
Undisputed and undeniable...
Those are images that will likely get Donald Trump re-elected in 2020 I know I will be voting for him.