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THeavy shadows. Stark black and white. Shot from below, making the subjects of the photos loom large and intimidating, with pained expressions on their faces.

The art of photography can be used to paint a picture of the subject as soft or hard, trustworthy or terrifying – and it appears MSNBC was going for terrifying.

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In an MSNBC photo essay of 37 pictures taken at Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King’s Freedom Summit on Jan. 24 in Des Moines, Iowa, photographer Mark Peterson captured Republican leaders and possible presidential candidates in some very unflattering light.

Could it have been King’s similarity of name to horror writer Stephen King that prompted this demonizing photo of the host congressman looking like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster?


TOddly enough, the black and white photos were part of a story called “Photos of the colorful characters at the Iowa Freedom Summit.”

Included was this photograph of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, widely considered a lovely woman, but here captured at what can only be described as an “ugly” moment:


TAnd this photo of Dr. Ben Carson, which, frankly, makes him look either in pain or constipated:


BOther photos, including unflattering shots of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and a photo of Donald Trump’s infamous hairline (and hairpiece?) were included in the essay.

It appears even the audience members were not exempt:

TComments at the MSNBC article showed several readers noticed the odd photography.

“I am not a great fan of any of the subjects featured in this gallery, but these are some of the most unflattering (creepy) photos that I have seen in a long time. What’s up with that?” asked a reader, screen name maninjapan78. “I think we should let the issues decide who is creepy and not go out of the way to publish ugly pictures (understatement) to make a point. I’m assuming that there had to have been a few pictures where the people didn’t look like zombies, but maybe I’m wrong.”

Others heaped on criticism of the event, like Glenn Janot, who commented, “Looking at the pictures of the spectators, you can see the GOP’s target audience and also their problem. A majority are old white people.”

Someone using the screen name Chaos, however, offered a creative solution: “Dear MSNBC, please accept my resume as event photographer. Looking over Mark Peterson’s ‘work’ [has] led me to the conclusion that he can’t figure out how to take anything but over-exposed, black and white photos … and not very well at that. Thank you.”


Viewpoints expressed herein are of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted or linked therein, and do not necessarily represent those of True Conservative Pundit

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Since 2013, True Conservative Pundit has featured the insightful writing and reporting of Greg Holt.  His writing has been featured on American Prophet, Conservative Firing Line, DC Clothesline, Godfather Politics, Capitol Hill Outsider, Sons of Liberty Media, Rev. Austin Miles, and others.  Greg is also the Publisher and Editor of Inspirational Christian Blogs.

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