Politics

Photographer defends Rand Paul photo shoot depicting senator as a liar

The photographer behind a peculiar new magazine cover arguing that Rand Paul “can’t be trusted” claims he’s not a “gotcha journalist.”

Paul, the libertarian Republican from Kentucky, appears on the cover of the July issue of The New Republic.

The photo is getting attention because the magazine uses a photo of Paul crossing his fingers to suggest he’s a liar, saying “The Real Rand Paul (can’t be trusted).”

New Republic Rand Paul

The photo begs the question: why would Paul pose that way for the liberal magazine, which is owned by former Obama campaign aide Chris Hughes?

The magazine is apparently aware the cover would be controversial.

In a separate interview with the magazine titled “About that Rand Paul Cover Photo…,” photographer Platon Antoniou opened up about shooting Paul. But he didn’t reveal how he got Paul to pose with his fingers crossed.

“He was very defensive,” Antoniou said of Paul.

“Senator Paul was probably convinced that any serious portrait photographer is not really going to be a member of the Tea Party movement,” he added.

Asked if he thinks Paul thought he was there to “propagandize him,” Antoniou said he thought that was true.

“I think he wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that of most media people,” Antoniou said. “He probably feels like I’m part of a movement to show him in a particular way. I saw it all over his face when he walked in the room. His body language, you know.”

The photographer said his goal was to “be true and honest” and 
“hopefully produce a picture that his family will look at and say, that’s our dad.””

“The first thing I had to do was to say to him, ‘Look, you know, I’m not a ‘gotcha’ journalist.’ And my job is not to be part of any propaganda movement.”

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