Saturday, March 14, 2009

Monica: 'I'm Not Ready for My Close-Up Now'

“Please don’t take pictures while I’m talking because you give then the ones (with) my mouth open.”
Detroit City Council president to Detroit News photographer Brandy Baker during a post-council media interview session.
The Detroit News, March 14, 2009 10A

I don’t know if there really are more pictures of Monica with her mouth open rather than shut, especially in view of how much time she spends opening it to say, or usually shout, bodacious things.

But her comment does address one of my trivial pet interests in news photography, about how hard photo editors work to select unflattering photos of people they don’t like. Google Images of “Bush smirking” and watch the results just fly off the page.

As a rare exception that proves the rule (Barack will be another, you will see) I believe I’ve referred somewhere to Governor Jennifer Granholm as the world’s longest serving executive to never have an unflattering picture of herself published. This photo on the right is typical of how she's portrayed on any given day, even when she's making the news for raising taxes or telling the people of Michigan that things are going to get much worse before, or if, they ever get better.

Monica Conyers in no Jennifer Granholm, but she's not a bad looking woman, at least when your view of her is not obscured by her fist coming into your face. Anger makes for worse photos. That may explain why she sees so many unplesant photos of herself. That, and maybe because 99% of the photo attention comes when she's just picked another schoolyard fight with someone.

This is only Monica’s recent press biography:

John Conyers’ wife in bar fight

Fri Dec 23, 2005
The wife of Democratic U.S. Rep. John Conyers has been accused of punching a woman in the eye during a bar fight.

A spokesman for Monica Conyers, a city councilwoman-elect, confirmed Friday that she was involved in an altercation. But he said Conyers merely defended herself after being attacked by another woman.

Conyers’ Wife Threatened to Shoot Mayor’s Aide

February 15, 2008

DETROIT — An aide to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick filed a police report Thursday claiming Monica Conyers, the short-tempered City Council president pro tem and wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, threatened to get a gun and shoot him at a city pension board meeting.

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Conyers accused of insults

David Josar / The Detroit News
DETROIT -- Cancer survivor and former state Rep. Mary Waters is calling on City Council President Monica Conyers to apologize for supposedly making light of cancer during a shouting match last week with a colleague.

Councilman Kwame Kenyatta wrote a letter to Conyers last week claiming she insulted him for wearing hearing aids and having cancer during a discussion that spilled into the hallways at City Hall. Kenyatta doesn't have cancer, but deemed her remarks about his hearing and his high school equivalency diploma "despicable."

(The following happened during the National Democratic Convention in Denver in 2008).

Mrs. Conyers in Hotel ‘Disturbance’

August 27, 2008
DETROIT –Police were called to quell a “disturbance” at a Denver hotel between Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers and staff, according to a hotel spokeswoman.

Dana Berry, spokeswoman for Magnolia Hotel, told the Detroit News an officer assigned to the hotel during the Democratic National Convention had to call for additional police assistance around 4 and 5 p.m. after a heated argument erupted between Conyers and staff about a hotel room.

And the one that brought the Detroit area world attention, when she was captured on tape behaving like a bad third-grader disrupting a meeting of the City Council. Think what you want about the pros or cons of the Cobo Hall deal, (or, like most people, don't think about it at all). But if you watch this tape you'll never wonder again why regional leaders will never make a deal with the city that gives city officials like Monica Conyers veto power over progress:

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