Item 1: Congressional candidate Rich Iott for years on end was an active member of an organization that praised Nazi soldiers as deserving “honor”, and dressed up as an SS officer, creating a German Nazi alter ego for himself and leading his teenage son into involvement in the group.
Item 2: For one holiday costume party, one evening, congressional candidate Krystall Ball dressed up in a sexy costume and was photographed sucking on the nose of her husband’s costume.
NPR apparently believes that these two situations are equivalent. Here’s how NPR reported on these items:
“Here’s a piece of unsolicited advice to potential congressional candidates: It’s probably not wise to have yourself photographed while you’re wearing the uniform of a member of the Nazi SS.
Or while you’re dressed in a sexy outfit and pretending to do something that I won’t describe further to a man dressed as a reindeer.”
What the NPR reporter wouldn’t describe further was just sucking suggestively on the fake nose of her husband’s costume. That’s all. Why wouldn’t the NPR reporter, Frank James, actually say that?
NPR’s article also didn’t mention that Rich Iott’s Wiking Nazi re-enactment group didn’t just engage in mock battles, but praised Nazi soldiers and spread misinformation claiming that some Nazis were great idealists who never did anything to hurt Jews. Why didn’t the NPR reporter actually say that?
The NPR article Frank James wrote focused on the idea that pictures are so powerful that they overcome any reasonable argument based on the facts. Certainly that will be the case for as long as sloppy reporters like James don’t delve into the details behind photographs that make the news, but merely skip around playing in the most superficial analysis of the images.