Conservative Twitter erupted Saturday night over a forthcoming puff piece in The Washington Post Magazine on Stacey Abrams. It’s not in Sunday’s magazine, so it must be online at least a week before it’s actually in print.
John Sexton joked “Stacey is the new Beto. It’s one flattering media profile after another.” And “Some people are wondering if this is real. It is.” Stephen Miller added: “How is every journalist employed by the Washington Post not named Jennifer Rubin not completely embarrassed by this Stacey Abrams profile. How does something like this even make it past editors who care about their reputations?”
The author isn’t a Post reporter. It’s a left-wing black activist named Kevin Powell, who ran unsuccessfully several times for Congress against Rep. Edolphus Towns in Brooklyn in 2008 and 2010. The Post credit line adds he’s a “civil and human rights activist.”
When she is finally introduced the women shout and leap to their feet. Young women stand on chairs, camera phones flash. Abrams, who appears both amused and slightly disturbed by the fuss over her, takes control of the chaotic scene. I’ve witnessed this level of affection for very few political leaders in the Democratic circles I’ve been in since the 1980s.
This is the passage popping eyeballs open:
Pandemonium ensues as she walks to the far left of the stage, like a runway supermodel, stops on a dime, poses, tilts her head slightly and smiles. Camera flashes explode. She next pivots and walks slowly to the center of the stage, freezes there and repeats the pose. Again, the flashes explode. Abrams is summoning her inner actress, and she is both enjoying the moment and getting through it to get to the conversation. She then pivots and walks to the far right of the stage, same. You wonder whether she has done this before, because it is not necessarily what one would expect from a 46-year-old politician who was nearly elected the first black female governor in U.S. history.
And then there’s the Superwoman photo, credited to Dana Scruggs of The Washington Post:
Josh Jordan tweeted: “The desire from so many in the media to make Abrams into a larger than life superhero is bizarre and telling. You’ll never see a conservative woman get this kind of coverage.”
The article includes credits for the photographic puffery:
Abrams portraits: Styling by Cheri Scurry-Burns. Makeup by Shaune Hayes. Hair by Sharron Brooks-Bullock. Prop styling by Giulietta Pinna. Wardrobe by ELOQUII.
Design by Brandon Ferrill. Photo editing by Dudley M. Brooks.
PS: Kevin Powell hasn’t always been this honored by The Washington Post. In 2015, they reviewed a Powell memoir which concluded “It is, in fact, surprising how unreflective this memoir is. Bedeviled by the mystique of being the cheeky black punk, Powell’s education is ultimately about that lonely kid forced to sit outside the classroom door.”
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