Facial expressions

Alessandra Stanley uses her space in today's New York Times to analyze facial expressions during the State of the Union address. Here is a sample of what her editrors regarded as insightful commentary:

Solemn, his brow furrowed, President Bush smiled seldom and only winked once during yesterday's State of the Union address. When he introduced the family of Staff Sgt. Dan Clay of the Marines, who was killed last month in Iraq, Mr. Bush looked up, and blinked an eye to signal to them his sympathy.

It was an entirely different performance from the one the president gave a year ago, when he was so cheerful and cocksure, buoyed by his re—election and the first free elections in Iraq. Mr. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress yesterday after the worst year of his presidency, and the toll showed in his face as much as in his words.

Teleprompters are a crutch to lend presidents easy eloquence, but the camera can be an underminer, revealing what rhetoric seeks to conceal. Mr. Bush spoke confident, even defiant words, but he looked defensive.

Ed Lasky   2 01 06

Greg Richards adds:

One of the most disturbing things about the press is that always — ALWAYS — when I have first—hand knowledge of a situation, I find the press's take on it to be VERY mistaken.  I watched the SOTU speech last night and thought Bush very commanding.

And if he IS careworn — and I am not sure I agree, although his hair IS greyer (as is mine) — what does that say about the press's Bush "model" of him as a clueless, good—time frat boy? 

Alessandra Stanley uses her space in today's New York Times to analyze facial expressions during the State of the Union address. Here is a sample of what her editrors regarded as insightful commentary:

Solemn, his brow furrowed, President Bush smiled seldom and only winked once during yesterday's State of the Union address. When he introduced the family of Staff Sgt. Dan Clay of the Marines, who was killed last month in Iraq, Mr. Bush looked up, and blinked an eye to signal to them his sympathy.

It was an entirely different performance from the one the president gave a year ago, when he was so cheerful and cocksure, buoyed by his re—election and the first free elections in Iraq. Mr. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress yesterday after the worst year of his presidency, and the toll showed in his face as much as in his words.

Teleprompters are a crutch to lend presidents easy eloquence, but the camera can be an underminer, revealing what rhetoric seeks to conceal. Mr. Bush spoke confident, even defiant words, but he looked defensive.

Ed Lasky   2 01 06

Greg Richards adds:

One of the most disturbing things about the press is that always — ALWAYS — when I have first—hand knowledge of a situation, I find the press's take on it to be VERY mistaken.  I watched the SOTU speech last night and thought Bush very commanding.

And if he IS careworn — and I am not sure I agree, although his hair IS greyer (as is mine) — what does that say about the press's Bush "model" of him as a clueless, good—time frat boy?