AP: photos of Ted Cruz with gun pointed at head not intended to be negative

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They don’t. Not. In. The. Least.

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Photo of the week award.


I really don’t see a problem here.


And folks were horrified - horrified! - when they found out Palin’s PAC put a “crosshair” graphic on Gabby Gifford’s district before she got shot.

This, though - haaa, those wacky AP photogs, amirite?


Are they aspirational, then? (ducks runs away)

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Soooooooo, let me get this straight. Ted Cruz gives a talk at a “Celebrate the 2nd Amendment” event in a room festooned with posters of firearms and some folks are surprised/outraged when a few of the photos give the illusion of a firearm pointed at his head?

I’m thinking it’s more of a failure of his handlers and less the fault of the photographer…


Mr Cruz is lucky, two-dimensional guns seldom kill three-dimensional people. Three- dimensional guns otoh… Perhaps four-dimensional guns are the answer to allowing Americans to enjoy their 2nd amendment rights? I’ll be honest, I’m confused now.


The photographer perhaps should have changed the angle to avoid this, but they didn’t generate the gun image. It was in the actual background of the room, so I’d point at laziness or failure to pay attention ahead of malice. I thought that high level candidates had producers to look after this sort of thing…am I wrong?


Oh, dear! Cruz will need to put his concern-troll face on for these…

How are these photos not 100% supportive of whatever is coming out of Cruz’s mouth at the time?


yeeeeaaaah…not even remotely comparable. For obvious reasons. It’s such a bad comparison it’s hard to explain why.

Let’s start with: there is no implied threat of violence against Cruz here (even as a metaphor). Even if we assume the photographer did this intentionally, it seems more likely that it’s a somewhat cryptic criticism of gun culture (and, presumably, its violent rhetoric). Crucially, it seems unlikely that the photographer photoshopped the gun in or engineered the environment to make the shot. The organizers of the event put the image on the wall, and the photographer perhaps took advantage of that to make a statement about gun culture.

Meanwhile, the “crosshair” map is an of an implicit threat of violence against Gifford. Yes, it is used metaphorically, but the criticism is something like, “this violent rhetoric seems to get people very excited, and some individuals might not realize it is merely metaphorical and take it too far”.

The intent and context of these photos vs. the election map are so different that I really don’t understand what point you’re trying to make. “Liberals just want to shoot Ted Cruz”?


It’s all about reinforcing what people already believe. You look at this and clearly see an implicit threat of actual violence:

You look at this, and do not see an implicit threat of actual violence:

I don’t see an implicit threat of actual violence in either image. What I see are examples of imagery that people use to confirm their biases.

That’s my point.

You’ve apparently completely ignored the two most crucial words in my post:




If you would like to address either the context or the intent behind either of these images, I would be happy to analyze them with you in whatever level of detail you think would be appropriate.

But if you’re trying to argue that neither context nor intent is relevant to assessing whether an image or other published artifact might plausibly constitute “a threat” or “violent rhetoric”, then you will have to argue with yourself because that is very obviously very stupid.

You might also note I was playing devil’s advocate with respect to the map to criticize your comparison, not actually arguing that the map really does constitute a threat.

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Of course, it was s total accident. Right.


I imagine the photographer couldn’t pass up the awesome opportunity. I know I wouldn’t have.


Sometimes at events like these they put the photographers where they want the photographers and you’re not exactly allowed to wander. We are talking about someone in Congress who is running for President, so Secret Service is probably around and they generally like it when the people called “shooters” who have large bags of technical equipment stick to one area and not go wandering around a whole lot. Additionally, there’s typically a local photog to your right and your left and you’re kind of stuck getting when you can from where you are.


I dunno, I tried cropping out the gun in the picture and just leaving Ted Cruz’s face and its still a pretty disturbing picture, if you ask me.


British politicians could use some of those: