Of course, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is a Republican. That puts him in proximity with guns and gun posters, as seen in this picture from Associated Press photog Charlie Neibergall, more often than Democrats.
Still, imagine a similar situation – a U.S. Senator campaigning for President – and instead of a pro-2nd Amendment event, it’s a pro-gun control event. Imagine this Senator is standing in front of a giant poster of a pistol – one meant to demonize the weapon rather than promote it.
Imagine that this same AP photographer, instead of shifting a foot to the left or the right, framed a picture with the Senator’s nose almost touching the barrel, as a closer crop makes clear.
Imagine that this photographer, even though he took a few shots with this silly setup, took many more without it. Imagine that his editor–unnamed and insulated from public backlash–chose not one but two but three of those photos to distribute to AP’s clients.
Imagine this scenario–and how would the world respond if the name on those photos read:
Even excluding 2016 candidates, what about:
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)?
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), again, is a Republican, and of course his feelings won’t get hurt. He’s a big boy.
But imagine the outcry were he a Democrat. How many think pieces about violent imagery and responsible reporting would we see? How many more if he were a woman?
Keep this in mind for the 2016 campaign. This is the playing field.