October 21, 2005
Procedures are for the little people

I assume you've all seen the Tom DeLay mug shot by now. If not, it's in this story, and will forever be in The Smoking Gun's collection. I just want to note that once again, Team DeLay is demonstrating that they believe their guy deserves Special Treatment:

The Sugar Land Republican was fingerprinted, photographed, taken before a judge, posted $10,000 bail and left shortly before 1 p.m. His lawyer told reporters DeLay was put through the process because of a political vendetta by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, the Democrat who brought the case.

"Now Ronnie Earle has the mugshot he wanted," DeGuerin said.

"I wanted to avoid the circus," DeGuerin added. "He wanted a perp walk, and we did not want to do it."

With all due respect, who cares what you think about this? If your guy were named Tom Smith, he'd be routinely subjected to arrest, fingerprint, and mug shot like everyone else, and he wouldn't have a national forum to bitch about it. If DeLay doesn't like the way indicted felons get treated during their processing, he has way more power to do something about it than most other people who've gone through it have. It really is amazing how sensitive some of these law-and-order types become to the rights of the accused when they're the ones being told to hold up the numbers and face the camera.

Anyway. You may notice that DeLay is smiling in his mug shot. The Statesman asks why that is.

Answer: A photo of DeLay grinning from ear to ear doesn't pack quite the punch in a Democratic attack ad as one that looks more like the mugshot of, say, actor Hugh Grant.

Note the House of Representatives security pin on DeLay's lapel.

He looks in the photo like a proud member of Congress who might just have won the lottery, not one indicted on charges of money laundering. The photo looks like it could have been taken anywhere.

And that was just the point.

Please. Have we never heard of PhotoShop? I grant you that DeLay would have been foolish to show up looking like this, but his Dapper Dan expression won't prevent any attack mailers. Any picture, or any alteration to this picture can be used - it's not like most people will remember what his actual mug shot looked like, if they ever saw it in the first place. Or this image could be taken unaltered, with a headline of "WHY IS THIS MAN SMILING?" and a footer that lists all the sins he and whoever he's being tied to are accused of. The actual picture is incidental - it's the reason for the picture that matters.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 21, 2005 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

I saw the picture in Newsday this morning and asked myself why Tom Delay was trying to impersonate Alfred E. Neuman.

What, me worry?

Posted by: William Hughes on October 21, 2005 8:31 AM

When I saw the mug shot on CNN yesterday, my immediate thought was, "What, Tom DeLay got to bring hair and makeup people and special lighting to be photographed?" He looks better in this pic than in many official photos.

So yes, I say bring on the Photoshop!

Posted by: Ellen on October 21, 2005 10:08 AM

Get a Life! What is upsetting you? The charges are obviously trumped up, any you just enjoy Schadenfreud. I feel sorry for you little people.

Posted by: Bernie Gordon on October 21, 2005 12:55 PM