Reading The Pictures: The Fix On Iowa


We know we have little to do with the shaping of the presidential race or the winnowing of candidates. These months, in fact, we are mostly a captive audience to the media primary -- and its finger-to-the wind "conventional wisdom."

If the media had granted viability to the Edwards campaign for its strength in Iowa, they are now moving in for the kill. The new meme, launched in this trap-laying article in last week's NYT is that, well:

"If Edwards doesn't do well here, he's dead, completely dead," said Dennis J. Goldford, a professor of political science at Drake University in Des Moines. "He can't survive a second or third place showing here.

Do you ever wonder exactly how the MSM lays these bricks? Well, in Example A, we have the designated Ph.D. bumping up "doing well" to "must win" in one mad, bar-raising sentence. (And if we subconsciously absorb this, doesn't that demonstrate how it's the constant slow drip of media-propagated "conventional wisdom" which makes it true?)

Which brings us to the curious photo that illustrated the write up, craftily titled: "A Candidate Tends His Field of Dreams."

What kind of story is the picture painting --especially in light of the words? How about this: John Edwards, the guy posing as the quixotic visionary, has got to be dreaming if he thinks he has any chance anymore. Clinton -- just coming into focus now in Iowa -- is showing up big, closing in, and she'd going to take him from behind.

Obvious, right?

For more of the visual, visit

(image: Jeremy Portje/A.P. July 2007. Peosta, Iowa. via