Monday, October 01, 2007

The Prototypical Fan

This isn't political - it relates to sports, if anything - but I think it's an interesting demonstration of how manufactured the news is.

If you follow sports at ALL, you probably know that the New York Mets just had a historic collapse, and lost the division title to the Phillies.

Anyway, here's the cover of the New York Daily News, showing a dejected fan:

The photo is by Ron Antonelli of the Daily News.

New York Newsday, meanwhile, ran THIS picture of a dejected fan on page 3:

Ummmm....that's the same guy. In a different pose. How could THAT have happened? 50,000 people at the stadium. What an amazing coincidence. THIS photo is by Kathy Kmonicek of Newsday.

But the Associated Press was jealous, and got in on the fun. They ran THIS photo by Kathy Willens:

My GOD! That THREE major news organizations all just happening to pick the same guy to take a picture of.

So Reuters went along for the ride. Here is theirs:

Photographed by Shannon Stapleton.

Four different news organizations; four different photographers. All taking a picture of the same guy (his name is Seth Fleischauer, by the way).

Obviously, they didn't look around the stadium for candid shots of fans. They all found the same guy, and had him POSE for them, so they could PRETEND that it was a candid shot of a fan.

How much of the NON-sports news is manufactured in the same manner?


Cat Bird Pictures said...

actually, seth's one of my best friends and skipped my birthday party because he was so upset about the met's crap (not a sports fan, but i'll take all you loonies words for it.)
anyway, he didn't model for shit. he was just super bummed and a good looking dude to boot so people snapped him. i think he looks awesome. go seth! sorry mets!

Dave said...

The actual truth is a far better commentary on the manufactured nature of the American media. Seth was attempting to look as pathetic as possible with the knowledge that the photographers would naturally seek him out, sensationalists as they are. Mission accomplished!

Unknown said...

So I'm the guy in the background of the Reuters picture with the sunglasses on. I attended the game with Seth and feel compelled to defend the news organizations. Here is an email thread starting this morning when Seth realized his celebrity (read from the bottom):

On 10/1/07, David wrote:
I mean, Seth is such a private, sheltered person, he would *never* do
anything like pretend he can speak Spanish to get on TV or ape for the
cameras at a baseball game after 95% of the people went home. He has
too much pride and self-worth to do something like that, and if he
were to sink that low I'm sure he would wake up the next morning with
the foul taste of bile in his mouth as he vomited up the leftovers of
one-too-many ballpark frankfurters, crying tears and chunks of cow
intestine into the toilet while mouthing (silently, but only because
of the retching), "why doesn't anyone love me?".

But seriously, you need to run with this and get on local TV now. NY
1 here you come! If you can turn this into a Letterman appearance I
will give you major props. Otherwise, you're just a whore.

On 10/1/07, Grant wrote:
wow dude. that's a pretty impressive sweep. what are the chances that so many photographers would choose you, out of the thousands of
sad fans at the game? from the number of periodicals of which you
grace the front page, it *almost* gives the impression that you went
down to the field level at the end of the game and stood on some seats right in front of the cameras trying to look as anguished as you could for 15 minutes. almost. publicity slut.

anyways, i picked up some extra copies of the sun, usa today, daily
news (that one's my favorite -- supreme agony), and metro if you want them. although im guessing that you could go into almost any bodega with your mets gear on and get as many free copies as you want, famous
as you are.

On 10/1/07, Dan wrote:

On 10/1/07, Kiersten wrote:

On 10/1/07, Seth Fleischauer wrote:
i guess i was a little premature in sending out those emails... here are some more links. unfortunately, it appears that i am the face of their collapse... grant is also in the first one (the nysun).

On 10/1/07, Seth Fleischauer wrote:

Iggy said...

Is this the same Seth Fleischauer who did a rather touching NPR interview with his dad a few years ago? It looks like it MIGHT be, but it's hard to be sure, since if it is, he didn't used to have a beard.

Iggy said...

I didn't say he wasn't an actual fan; I'm sure he was. I said he was posed.

Some years ago, me and some others were in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, on John Lennon's birthday. A radio station person came by to cover the homage. But it wasn't enough that we were all there. "Could you all sing "Give Peace a Chance" so I could get that on tape for the story?" Of course we complied. And of course it was broadcast that night as an "impromptu" singing.

Anonymous said...

I'm Seth's dad and a native New Yorker transplanted to the West Coast who misses Deli food, but not the omniscience nor the Yankees... I see that the pluses and minuses of the East Coast experience have remained intact - the passion is still there, the opinions are still free, and wisdom remains stillborn.

Publicity posing as Truth is the mainline addiction of the entire Metropolitan lifestyle, a poor substitute for an actual identity which implies among other things interacting with people face to face as opposed to, say, in cyberspace.

There is no doubt that Seth and the camera have always been fond of each other for many reasons. The bottom line, however, is that the kid went to Princeton and chose to teach third grade in a rough Brooklyn neighborhood for three years.

No one in our family will ever be rich. We do, however, know how to live life with passion and clarity. When these fifteen minutes pass in Seth's life, he will be more than content to embody values that have served him well.

Anonymous said...

I'm Seth. Yes, I am the same Seth from NPR when I was without beard. No, they didn't ask me to pose. Yes, I am minute-famous for doing nothing but being sad. Am I happy about being the face of the Mets demise? Only if it means that I can milk it into getting the Mets to visit my classroom (I'm a third grade teacher, and my kids would absolutely love it). Otherwise, a fun story to tell the grandkids. But if I could trade it all for a trip to the playoffs, I would, in a second...

Iggy said...

Hello, Seth. Hello, Seth's dad. I find it incredible that this post got more comments than damned near anything else I ever posted. Including one from a quasi-celebrity. Remind me to use the phrase "Seth Fleischauer" in the future. Apparently, it gets tons of hits.

But I DO want to know how you explain being photographed by EVERYBODY. Those are four different photographers. Coincidence? Did they all descend on you at once?

Oh - and sorry about your team's loss.

Anonymous said...

Seth, you frikkin rock. Anyone who says otherwise has too much time on their hands. And gonorrhea.

I personally think you look sad in the photos because watching baseball is the most goddamned boring thing one could possibly do. I guess my interpretation is as valid as anyone else's.
Besides yours.

It's your world, Seth, we all just live in it.

Last baseball game I went to, my ass fell asleep on the bleacher seats in left field and I got reprimanded by some dude for swearing like a sailor in front of his 8-year-old. I thought anything goes in the bleachers. Shows what I know about baseball. That famous slugger was at 499 homers or something. He was supposed to hit his #500 in that game, but he didn't. So it was basically 3 hours of boredom.

But I digress; it's your world, Seth.


PS- Your dad is cool.

Anonymous said...

He's baaaaaaack.....

Anonymous said...

Attention whore