Bob Franken


July 19, 2007
The Real Backgrounders (Bob Franken)
@ 3:02 pm
Watching candidates Edwards on his magical mystery poverty tour and Obama contending he was for poor people before it was cool, causes me to start thinking — about photo-ops, of course.

I mean, what self-respecting politician would even think of presenting a media event without props — human props.

In order to accommodate the television news imperatives, they come up with living, breathing “real people.” “Quick, find me some poor folks. I need to show compassion for them,” the candidate might say. Or, “Find me the baby a mother decided not to abort,” shouts the right-to-lifer. It goes on and on.

How many times will presidents and aspiring presidents use displaced Katrina victims as extras? If all that time, money and ingenuity had been redirected to their plight they would have stopped being displaced long ago.

So what am I trying to say? I appreciate the question. Simply that the symbiosis between media and media managers can sure arouse cynicism sometimes. Now let’s see: I probably need some props to illustrate my point. How about some talking heads? They’re almost human.

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