The American Digest has a fascinating and insightful story on Atlantic Monthly. According to the writer, Atlantic Monthly hired a photographer (Jill Greenberg) whom they knew was a staunch Democratic party supporter to take pictures of John McCain for a their upcoming cover. The photographer took pictures which cast John McCain in an unappealing light. On top of that Jill Greenberg used these picture to make some really ugly pictures on her site (not linked intentionally). Here’s a good portion of the post:

“Some of my artwork has been pretty anti-Bush, so maybe it was somewhat irresponsible for them [The Atlantic] to hire me.” – Jill Greenberg

As far as it goes it is workmanlike enough and presents McCain, unlike the Obama covers we are used to seeing, without the halo. Given the level to which the owner and the staff of the Atlantic are in the tank for Obama — the owner’s wife, Katherine Brittain Bradley, is on record in one instance for $28,500.00 to committees supporting Barack Obama– even the cover-lines are not half-bad if a bit half-hearted. I’d only remark that it is no accident that the Atlantic’s editor approved the upper red slash bar with the words “Porn” and “Adultery” in it. Editors, especially those whose paycheck depends on displaying their bias for their boss, love those little gotcha games. I know. I played them too.

But that’s not where the Atlantic cover story stops.

It’s a question, you see, of the disposition of all the McCain “out-takes” from this shoot. Out-takes are images taken of a subject at a photo shoot that are not used for publication by the client commissioning them. Typically, when you hire a photographer for a shoot — and I have hired dozens over the years — the photographer delivers all the film or digital images taken to the editor and art director for their review and selection. In a professional shoot these can easily be dozens if not hundreds of images.

But there seems to have been a “leakage” of some images between Jill Greenberg and her clients at the Atlantic. How intentional this is, how much the staff of The Atlantic colluded or did not collude with Ms Greenberg I have no way of knowing just yet. But at this moment Ms. Greenberg is displaying on her website (Hit refresh to cause the page to cycle) the following images which can only be based on out takes from the Senator McCain / Atlantic Monthly photo session [UPDATEWas it something I said? Greenberg has now removed the images below from rotation on her home page. The images below were there as of midnight, PST, Sept 14. The images are, as of now still visible via manipulator > enter > names > john mccain. UPDATE to Update: Those images are back at’s home page. Look like Greenberg decided to double down and brazen it out.]

These images are, to any reasonably decent person, simply political pornography. There’s just no other way to parse them.

To say Ms. Greenberg’s use of this material in this way is “unprofessional” and does the subject (John McCain) and the client (The Atlantic Monthly) a disservice is to vastly understate the case. Not only has Ms. Greenberg exposed The Atlantic to charges of bias it may well have not intended, it turns out she was engaged in dealing with Senator McCain falsely as well. She has, indeed, bragged about it to PDNPulse, a professional photographers’ journal. Here, in her own words, are what she did:

When The Atlantic called Jill Greenberg, a committed Democrat, to shoot a portrait of John McCain for its October cover, she rubbed her hands with glee…..

After getting that shot, Greenberg asked McCain to “please come over here” for one more set-up before the 15-minute shoot was over. There, she had a beauty dish with a modeling light set up. “That’s what he thought he was being lit by,” Greenberg says. “But that wasn’t firing.”

What was firing was a strobe positioned below him, which cast the horror movie shadows across his face and on the wall right behind him. “He had no idea he was being lit from below,” Greenberg says. And his handlers didn’t seem to notice it either. “I guess they’re not very sophisticated,” she adds – PDNPulse: How Jill Greenberg Really Feels About John McCain

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