Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We needed the wide angle shot

Maitri, Schroeder, Adrastos and the editors of the Picayune are all going to be really embarrassed. Never mind, I give up, I can't come with anything as funny as this:
The mayor's full statement:

"The photo selected to depict the public safety press conference on yesterday by the Times Picayune grossly misrepresented the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, the Superintendent of Police and the men and women of the police department. The press conference held by the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) was designed to display to the public the department's new crime fighting and life saving equipment. Further, the announcement acknowledged the entities that have worked in cooperation with the city to make this new equipment a reality-the State of La Delegation authorized over $6million in the last legislative session for the purchase of new equipment as well as to acknowledge other organizations that donated equipment to this recovering police force.

Yesterday's announcement was a lift to the morale of this heroic police department that lost much of it's resources in Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that resulted from the levee breaches. Mayor Nagin was and continues to be on the frontlines working to secure resources for this agency, as well as the other agencies within city government that are struggling to rebuild.

Unfortunately, photos of the command unit that will be stationed across from the NBA headquarters for this week's NBA All Star Game were not selected for publication, unfortunately photos of the smart boards and computer equipment that will allow officers to have real time data and analysis while in the field were not selected to educate, inform and reassure the publics confidence. Instead a photo, taken out of context, was selected by our own local media and now showcased across the nation as a mockery of all this city's recovery efforts. This is the real tragedy.

Ceeon D. Quiett
Communication Director
Office of the Mayor
C. Ray Nagin"

FWIW:My entry into's caption contest:
Comedy turned into tragedy as an irresponsible and ungrateful news media mocked the mayor's hard and effort.

It didn't seem to show up in the comments for some reason. Never mind, I expected the most recent comments to be at the bottom, I see that the Picayune puts them at the top.

The moral of this story is don't act stupid in front of the cameras.
I *AM* a publicist, and I can tell you that's total BS. No PR pro should ever whine about what photo the wire picks up. Instead, of bitching that the news didn't focus on our new crime-fighting gear, the comm director should try beating some sense into the mayor with the butt of that rifle.
Maybe it's my particular pet peeve when it comes to grammatical accuracy in an official letter written by a City administrator for publication in a popular local newspaper, but what's much more of a "tragedy" in my eyes than publication of such an unflattering photo is that Nagin's Communications Director, of all people, didn't take the time to edit the letter to correct for the proper usage of "it's" versus "its." (See the first sentence of the second paragraph in Quiett's letter.)
Good catch, Huck. I'm sure that I might occasionally make that mistake in a hastily typed comment, but I would never make it in a post. For her to make it in a job that she's paid, paid well, to do is inexcusable.
Times Pic clarifies Nagin photo

Here I was thinking that it was going to be a sort of apology when i clicked the link, but no, they simply said that Nagin pointed the gun at Riley got a split second.

er, *for a split second
Hate to say this, but WDSU showed video of the event last night. You can clearly see that the photo captured one split second as Nagin raises the gun up. In other words, he wasn't standing there like a jackass pointing the gun at the police chief. It really seemed pretty innocuous, and made the photo seem like an egregious distortion. And I say this with an unblemished record of anti-Naginism.
Too bad for Nagin and Riley that it's not just this picture which shows that they are complete living mockeries of the establishment.

CYA (via this letter, for example) is the only M.O. they are good at.
Ceeon Quiett's "clarification" doesn't alter the fact that Nagin is responding to the serious responsibility of making our city safe as mere play, while his handling a gun designed to kill people appears to make him giddy.

It really is an attitude no different from that of the kid in the photo which Maitri posted.

Another grammatical clarification might be required of the mayor's communications director. The last paragraph drops the possessive apostrophe in "publics confidence." Perhaps she could just move that extra apostrophe in "it's" down to "publics."
just to be clear, I posted this before the T/P's clarification. I still haven't seen the video.
What Schroeder said.

You don't play with guns.

It is completely inappropriate to be swinging any gun around indiscriminately, wherever it happens to point.
"Editor B" do you happen to realize that the muzzle velocity of an automatic weapon like that is measure in milliseconds. Do you also know that it is clearly unsafe to be waving a weapon around like that. The video shows Nagin waving the gun around and in the process he not only points it briefly at Riley but also in front of Riley where some of the press were standing. It takes LESS time than it took to wave the gun around to have fired several rounds which would have struck Riley and some of the press. It was a very stupid thing for Nagin to do but he has a long history of embarrassing the city. There was no excuse for Nagin's lack of safety here and I find it the height of arrogance for Nagin to attack the Times-Picayune rather than do the responsible thing and apologize for improperly handling a weapon and thereby placing others in potential danger. You NEVER, NEVER, NEVER handle ANY gun in the manner Nagin did. This is a BASIC instruction given in any responsible weapons training.
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