The New York Times Magazine, to put it mildly, is not known for its flattering photo-editing. Still, I thought yesterday’s treatment of former Virginia governor Mark Warner was over the top. After all, the magazine was introducing a potential presidential candidate to a readership that, overwhelmingly, had not seen him before. Far from being another take on a well-known person, this was our first look at the Democrat Who Might Challenge Hillary.
And what a first look photographer Alexei Hay gave us — 1940s-style lighting combined with a supremely unattractive obsession with Warner’s teeth and chin. Warner ends up looking like a half-forgotten character actor who plays a small-town murderer in an old movie you think you might have seen some years ago.
For comparison, I’ve included an official photo of Warner. Maybe its depiction of Warner as a steel-jawed man of destiny is as deceptive, in its way, as the Times’ — but surely it’s no more deceptive than the Times’.