Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Signifier/Signified



In this undated file photo, date unknown, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Johnson is seen. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants a presidential pardon for Jack Johnson, who became the nation's first black heavyweight boxing champion 100 years before Barack Obama became its first black president. Johnson spent nearly a year in prison for violating the Mann Act by having a consensual relationship with a white woman — a conviction widely seen as racially motivated. (AP Photo)


Hmmm... undated file photo, date unknown? Oh, Associated Press, I can help you with this one! I don't know the exact date, but I'm going to guess 1970, when The Great White Hope, from which the above photo is a still, was made. To clarify: that's not Jack Johnson; that's James Earl Jones pretending to be Jack Jefferson, a semi-fictional character based on Jack Johnson. It's OK, AP, don't worry... I was confused, too.

UPDATE: Ha ha! For some reason, the above photo has vanished from AP's offerings.

UPDATE: When I got home I was able to check AP's site, and –oopsie!– they totally purged the picture from their catalog.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wait, is this the John McCain who voted in 1983 against a holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.? Is he the Senator who represented the state that refused to recognize the holiday until 1992? Maybe these people just live for sports--since Arizonans finally accepted the holiday in exchange for being allowed to host the Stupor Bowl.

puravida said...

Why in the world would McCain want a pardon for James Earl Jones? What did he ever do?

Well, I guess he is married to a white woman...

http://www.dailyprogress.com/cdp/entertainment/people/article/sag_honoree_james_earl_jones_calls_acting_fun/34464/

HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

omg that's hillarious. I'd like for them to run a photo of Wil Smith from Men in Black 2 and caption it "Muhammad Ali, circa 1975, gettin jiggy wit it."

Anonymous said...

I was going to say, wow! Look how skinny James Earl Jones is!

Dualtrack said...

Chuck Berry was jailed for violating the Mann Act early in his career...

karen marie said...

you would almost think that the AP didn't have the resources to hire fact-checkers or researchers or anyone like that.

dguzman said...

"THIS... IS AP."

I am not Star Jones said...

I saw the photo and immediately knew that it was James Earl Jones...what morons are working at the AP photo desk?

sfmike said...

You bloggers are just so mean to the Mainstream Media. I'm sure Senator McCain was thinking of James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander and their miscenegated love, so AP was simply channeling his romantic confusion. I suppose using the word "undated" is somewhat misleading, but hey, at least they were vague.

Irony aside, I didn't think professional journalism could get any stupider, but I was wrong.

Lady Wesley said...

Good catch. I sometimes think that media outlets should hire the oldest people they can get as fact checkers. Anyone who was around in 1970 and paid attention would have known this was JEJ in The Great White Hope. Bet you this checker, if there was one, was under 30.

davedave said...

Johnson spent nearly a year in prison for violating the Mann Act by having a consensual relationship with a white woman — a conviction widely seen as racially motivated.

Widely seen as racially motivated??? What other explanation is remotely possible?

Anonymous said...

completely off topic, but the headline reminded me of this:
http://www.brandonbird.com/signifier_signified.html