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July 5, 2004

The Depth of Political Speech

There's a stealth activist walking the streets of Newport, Rhode Island, as the Newport Daily News explains in the title of an article about him, "Political statement is making Newporters stop an think":

Hey you! Yeah you, walking along Bellevue Avenue!

You're being watched.

Two world leaders are looking right at you. They're both smiling. The one on the right is even waving.

From stop signs, trash cans, newspaper vending boxes and other streetscape fixtures, an image of President Bush and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah has been appearing around town since at least late spring like some international politics version of "Where's Waldo?" ...

The cornerstone of Bush's re-election campaign is to portray him as standing tough against terrorism, considered the biggest threat to the United States today, Giannakos said. The ties between the Bush family and wealthy Saudis, including the royal family, have been well documented, most notably in Michael Moore's new film, "Fahrenheit 9/11." The photograph of Bush and Abdullah appears in the film.

Readers will make their own judgments about the implications of reporter Janine Weisman's citing Moore's movie as a source of "documentation." (I should note that Fahrenheit 9/11 sold out at a small theater as a fund-raiser for the Newport International Film Festival, which I hadn't known to be a political organization.)

I'm tempted to walk around the city taping this picture on top of the other one:

Wonder if I'd get similar media coverage.

Posted by Justin Katz at July 5, 2004 2:22 PM