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The New York Times Gives Condi a Headache

By Brian | July 27, 2006 | Share on Facebook

Condi Rice met yesterday with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora to try and mediate the armed conflict raging between Israel and Hezbollah (and, by extension, Lebanon).

Last night, Jon Stewart of the always-funny Daily Show ran this rather unflattering picture of Condi, and compared her facial expression on what he called the “Condi-meter” to determine how badly things were going with her negotiations. It was very funny and, in my opinion, entirely appropriate. He used an awkward picture of a public official to make light of a very serious situation, and a good time was had by all.

Then, this morning, I see this picture on the front page of the New York Times, alongside the headline CEASE-FIRE TALKS STALL AS FIGHTING RAGES ON 2 FRONTS. This time, it’s not as funny, and certainly not as appropriate, unless Condi was making that gesture in response to a question like “How are things going?” which strikes me as highly unlikely.

A much more likely scenario is that this was just one of those unfortunate moments we all have that happened to get caught on film. When Jon Stewart takes advantage of it for comedic purposes, it’s well played. When the New York Times takes advantage of it for dramatic effect, it’s at best misleading.

To drive home the point, here’s another picture from the same press conference that I found on the web from another news outlet covering the same story. Judging solely from the picture, things look to be in much better shape here, don’t they?

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