I read it for the pictures (The New York Times, that is)

Elizabeth's picture

These two pictures accompany an article in this morning's Times on the presidential candidates' use of their opposition to NCLB (which stands for No Child Left Behind, not No Cheerleader left behind") as a way of rallying supporters.

Maybe it's just that my brain is still a bit addled from the end of the semester, and I'm only through my first cup of coffee this morning, but it seemed like an odd selection of images to me. Take a look. Then feel free to discuss in the comments whether or not these images matter at all.

This one is captioned "Students at Central High School in Davenport, Iowa, listening to former president Bill Clinton."

Photo of cheerleaders listening to Bill Clinton, accompanying article about No Child Left Behind

Photo of boys in baseball caps listening to Barack Obama, accompanying a Times story on No Child Left BehindThe article also includes a photo of high school students and faculty listening to Barack Obama. That photo is captioned "A crowd listening to Senator Barack Obama at the junion high school in Washington, Iowa".

Now the photo that ran in the actual paper version of the story was a bit different. It contained an older white male teacher, for example. The cheerleader photo, however, appears to be unedited for its online appearance. Also interesting is that online the boys listening to Obama picture is much smaller than the cheerleaders-for-Clinton picture. (And of course the boys are actually listening to Obama, while the cheerleaders are listening to Candidate Clinton's partner, not the candidate herself.)

I promise I'll get back to some serious blogging in the next few days. There's a lot to write about: the dropping of the repeal of the global gag rule, the difficulties in writing about or investigating child pornography, the sex panics that are fueling irrationality in our attempt to deal with sex crimes, and I'm also working on a series on the lives of men who have sex with men (often though not always secretly) but are committed to marriages with women.

Meanwhile, how about a rousing discussion in the comments about race, class and gender in the Democratic primaries, using these two pictures as a case study. Is it demeaning to Hilary Clinton, or helpful to her, that a photo referencing her campaign depicts cheerleaders listening to her husband? Is it a problem for Barack Obama that his listeners are junior high school boys while Clinton's are more mature young women? Other thoughts?