By now probably all of you have heard about Ms. Greenberg’s alternative images of John McCain. I don’t want to start a big fight here but people are asking my opinion, so I’ll give it.
I think that, especially at the level of media savvy that should be expected of McCain’s handlers, Ms. Greenberg is entirely clean in this.
First, editorial rates are so lousy that if a photographer does NOT make her own image to get something more out of any project, that is just bad business.
Second, she made image(s) that were absolutely acceptable by the client. Remember, McCain was NOT her client in any way.
Third, if someone agrees to be interviewed and the interviewer asks a bunch of good questions and then asks, at the end, a couple that are embarrassing or uncomfortable, by agreeing to the interview, that is the risk you take. Agreeing to be photographed for a news magazine is analogous. You are getting publicity and you don’t get to control it. You take your chances.
Again, Ms. Greenberg more than fulfilled her obligations to her client. I don’t have a problem with her making her own art on the side.
As for how she has handled the press herself, I really don’t think that matters too much. She will be, at most, a blip in this election.
However, I do want to make one comment about how the community is reacting. On the PDNPulse blog, the comments by those who think that what she has done was less than professional have been far too often ugly and hateful. There was even at least one that made an anti-semitic slur. This is heartbreaking. She is one of us and if we attack our own…well…it is just sad.
Disagree with what she has done if you choose to, but do so with the respect one of your colleagues deserves.
How she handled it after the fact is not what I am commenting on. She could have handed the press afterwards better, no question, but the act itself, I don’t think it’s half as bad as some think.