Here’s the thing about reporters: They’re incredibly contrary. (Also, not that hygienic, and so poorly dressed we should probably have our own clothing drive. But that’s a different post.) So, when you’re a politician, or you work for a politician, and you do something like send an e-mail “asking” (instructing) that only one particular photo of your candidate be used? You should probably prepare for an onslaught of different, less flattering photos of your guy, perhaps from a time when his facial hair was not what it could be.
Although our philosophical differences with the Post have been, historically, too numerous to count, we have to applaud them on this Buzzfeed-esque series of photos of Bill de Blasio, seemingly consisting of every terrible shot they’ve ever taken of the man.
The set came in response to a request from the de Blasio campaign, asking that only one specific photo of their candidate be used: one taken from his own campaign Facebook page. Another from the same series is used on his website. The theme, basically, is lots of sunlight, bridge backdrops, and power ties.
The Post was not inclined to agree. It’s kind of like that time Beyoncé’s publicist asked that those shots of her looking especially fierce at the Super Bowl be erased from the Internet, resulting in them appearing everywhere possible on the Internet. Or when one of our sister papers down in Florida, New Times, got an instructional e-mail from the office of their sinister Mr. Clean of a governor, Rick Scott. The photo that Scott’s office wanted used made him appear to be less of a slimy, poor-people-hating lizard and more of a normal human man.
So while the Post might only be doing this to stick it to one of the more liberal candidates in the race, its impulse comes, for once, from a pure place, journalistically speaking. Mayoral campaigns: don’t talk to us about “slutbags” and assume it’s off the record, and don’t ask us to use glamour shots of your candidate. This is the Internet, and we don’t play.