AP Photos: Worth more than a thousand words (sorting through discarded news cycles)

November 22, 2010

One of the tools at WBEZ's disposal (at least for the time being) is AP photography. It's great for pictures of news events or newsmakers. It's usually for more national stories, but you will get some local work because AP has a few stellar photographers filing daily. I wanted to get a photo together for Rev. James Meeks because the news this morning is that he hasn't filed signatures for mayor yet (today is the filing deadline). I'm sure he will, but it is worth following. So I looked him up on AP. When you do a search for photography, the usual results are sorted by relevance. I usually change it to newest and the most recent pictures show up. 

When I typed in Rev. James Meeks, the most relevant pictures to show up on this page were a few police/CPS sit-in stunts from back in 1999. He was demanding a meeting with then Chicago Police Chief Terry Hilliard after a couple police shootings of African-Americans. I remember that story, since I was a producer at 848 at the time. But I forgot Meeks was involved. He also championed the cause of the expelled students in Decatur, IL. Remember that? Jackson Sr. got all the headlines, but Meeks was very active in that story.

There is also a great photo of Rev. James Meeks and Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., announcing Meeks as part of the leadership at Rainbow Push. This was back in the late-90s as well. It is interesting to read the captions. Here, I'll buy this one as part of our AP deal because I think it's worth it for you to see it and read the caption:

From AP (photo caption): Rev. Jesse Jackson listens as the Rev. James T. Meeks addresses reporters in Chicago, Friday, Dec. 10, 1999. Jackson announced that Meeks would the first vice president in the history of Operation Rainbow/PUSH and the appointment would give a line of succession to the organization's leadership. (AP Photo/Michael S. Green)

Since this photo and that news story, Meeks has changed course and become his own man and a popular state senator in Springfield. I really don't know much about the Jackson/Meeks relationship presently, but you have to ask yourself about Jackson's publicity push last week when the African-American clergy group came out and said they endorsed Congressman Danny Davis. Jackson gave Davis respect, but also said that he wants to wait until after the filing date to decide which African-American candidate he will support. To read between the lines: That group of clergymen aren't making any decisions. Rev. Jackson will? Perhaps this AP photo can offer a glimpse to who Jackson may want to run the city. I did AP searches for Jesse Jackson and Danny Davis and nothing really came up (a couple of obvious press-conferences). I searched similarly for Carol Moseley Braun and nothing came up (same thing, press conference shots about issues - but nothing about their relationship).

But when I searched Moseley Braun without the Jackson connection, I came across some great photos. Again, the most relevant popped up first. Take a look at this picture of Braun in 1992 on Capitol Hill:

I think I voted for Carol Mosely Braun in my first election. She was on the same ticket at Clinton and she just rode that wave all the way to the Senate. Here she is in Washington D.C. during freshman orientation in 1992.  

Interesting, eh? She's been there. She's got more experience than Mark Kirk. She has more experience than Rahm Emanuel. Emanuel was a young advisor/policy guy in 1992. He was brought in at a pretty low level. So while he was working up the chain, Carol Mosely Braun was already a senator. And, I forgot, even though it was just two years ago, that Moseley-Braun ran for president. So not only has she been a senator, she's run for president (albeit unsuccessfully).

And even better!!! Don't stop reading...

I searched Danny Davis. He had 29 pages of results, although half were probably some football player named Danny Davis. But there a few pictures of him shaking hands with Todd Stroger. Weird alliance? There are other pics of him with Durbin and the Illinois delegation, but Todd Stroger? Is he behind Todd Stroger?

No. I read the caption:

Chicago Alderman Todd Stroger, right, and Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., the two candidates for Cook County Board President, shake hands after voting results were announced to the Cook County Democratic Party's Central Committee Tuesday, July 18, 2006, in Chicago. Democrats chose Alderman Stroger to fill the spot on the November ballot left by his father, retiring Cook County Board President John Stroger, who's been recovering from the stroke he suffered a week before the March primary. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast).

I now remember that Danny Davis was UP AGAINST Todd Stroger as the Democrat nominee to replace John Stroger for the general election for Cook County Board President. The Cook County Democratic committee chose Todd Stroger over Danny Davis. 

Now I know there will be hardcore commenters who will call me out for not recalling these events, but be honest - most of this information comes in and is quickly dumped from the brain when the news cycle discards the story. I remember all of these events, but sometimes news history can be easily forgotten. Most people who live in Chicago remember the above moments vividly...when reminded. 

 AP photos: Worth a thousand words.