04 April 2014

[design] Q: What Do A Major Liberal Poliblog Site And A Famous Conservative Tycoon Have In Common?

A: The same illustration. And it's crazy.

By now, the Daily Kos should need no introduction to anyone liberal (or anyone who finds us suspicious). One of the kings-of-the-liberal-blogosphere, it's been going strong since the early days of W, when a vet named Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga created a liberal blog of his own. It grew and grew and grew, and now innumerable users post thousands of posts in discussions daily. It's a community in the sense of the thing; not only are there message boards, but each user can maintain an on-site blog, a diary. It's become fairly sprawling.

And, to anyone who reads the political news with any depth, the name Charles Koch has resonance as well. He is part of a family that's so wealthy they could probably buy and sell the Waltons a handful of times over, and whose company, Koch Industries, owns enough industrial power than it's downright tough to avoid all the products that they produce. Notably for this narrative, they donate and support conservative causes enthusiastically.

I don't think it's unreasonable to say that a Koch is pretty much nearly the opposite of a Kossack.

So, when the WSJ decided to publish an op-ed by Charles Koch, what with patriotic feelings appertaining and all , it was felt reasonable to come up with an illustration … well, like this:

Some of you who visit DKos on a regular bases (amusingly, I'm not amongst that – no hating, I'm just more a Democratic Underground sorta guy, kind of like Yale vs. Harvard) will recognize that image, because, for a very long time, here was DKos's virtual logo:

It's not kinda the same thing. It's exactly the same thing.

Now, I've got to hasten to point out that this is clearly not a case of copyright infringement; as the notation at the WSJ notes, the image was licensed from Getty Images, which is undoubtedly where DKos got it as well. Anyone can pay for a license, and with Getty Images making a great deal of its library free for use, we can probably expect to see a lot more of this. Also, DKos has refined the idea; it's not exactly the same thing any more:

… but still it's something that makes you go hmmmm … was it sort of a jibe? Was the person who chose the illustration 'taking the piss', as the Brits say, out of the idealized typical Kossack? Did they think they were 'reclaiming' an image for one side or another in a great Manichean struggle?

Or was it just a coincidence?

Either way, it's a thing that makes you go hmmm …

No comments: