Joining Vice President Dick Cheney’s motorcade in Green Bay, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photographer Dale Guldan hoped to capture a unique image during an otherwise scripted campaign visit in September.
Did he ever.
Jumping on and off the press bus, Guldan says he took dozens of pictures at well-orchestrated photo opportunities.
On the way to Milwaukee, however, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr convinced Cheney to make an unscheduled stop in Glendale to visit local favorite Kopp’s Frozen Custard, according to New York Times reporter Rick Lyman.
When Cheney ordered a decaf coffee and sat on a concrete ledge outside, Kopp’s manager Scott Borkin graciously brought him a sample of frozen custard. “The guy came all the way from the White House,” Borkin says. “He’s got to try our custard.”
The normally serious Cheney flashed a winning smile for Borkin, and Guldan snapped an attention-grabbing photo that would later be chosen for the front page of the paper’s September 11 Metro section.
Guldan got a call from a reader the next day. “Did you notice anything unusual about that picture?” the reader asked.
Upon closer inspection, it seems the vice president’s smile was not his biggest, ahem, asset. Is that what we think it is?
“You’re not imagining it,” Guldan says of the unintentionally revealing photo.
Let’s just say the snugness of Cheney’s pants left little to the imagination, and we’re not talking about his waistline.
One Journal Sentinel reader pointed out the blooper in an e-mail to WKLH-FM radio hosts Dave Luczak, Carole Caine and Kevin Brandt, who had a hoot talking about it during their popular morning show.
“It’s nice to have someone of that magnitude in the White House,” Brandt joked.
“He’s got a porn career right there,” Caine snickered.
“Now we know where his unmitigated confidence comes from,” Luczak quipped.
We’ve seen the photo, and it’s hard not to notice something so, well, unmistakable.
Guldan explains that he took between 100 and 200 photographs that day with a digital camera, chose six to eight images for possible publication and didn’t notice anything odd in the Kopp’s image because Cheney sat in the shadows. Incredibly, a “dozen or so” editors saw the photo before publication and nobody raised a red flag, he says.
“I got a chuckle out of it when I noticed it, too. If I had noticed it sooner, I would have cropped it,” Guldan says, referring, of course, to the standard practice of trimming a photo without altering its accuracy. “I wasn’t out to put him in a negative light.”
While such a portrait of the VP is clearly inappropriate, it’s also a harmless mistake and could be seen as rather – dare we say – flattering. Just ask WKLH’s Caine, who dug through her recycling to find the photo.
“It’s like a scud missile, for crying out loud,” Caine said.
Want to see the picture for yourself? Catch it while you can at your public library’s periodical desk because chagrined Journal Sentinel officials are not in a sharing mood.
The paper denied our request to reprint the copyrighted -photo, saying it had decided not to release the image to the public.
You won’t find it on -jsonline.com, though there are photos of every other Cheney campaign trip to Wisconsin since April. Matt Stanton, jsonline design editor, promised to look into this curious omission, and that was the last we heard from him.
Meanwhile, Mark Hoffman, deputy photo editor, suggested we try the paper’s Photo Sales Service. Don’t bother. To check its availability, we ordered and paid for a color copy of the Cheney photo, only to get a call the next day voiding the deal.
Journal Sentinel: “That photograph is not for sale.”
An Experienced Snoop
A public investigator turns private.
While reporters leave journalism for careers in teaching or public relations, Lauria Lynch-German left the Journal Sentinel in August to become – get this – a private investigator.
Endearingly profane, candi–d and unflinching in her role as the newspaper’s union president since 2001, Lynch-German says her skills as a reporter will serve her well as an investigator. “To me, it’s a natural fit,” she says.
Lynch-German, who went from state and metro reporter at The Milwaukee Journal in 1993 to crime reporter at the Journal Sentinel’s Ozaukee/Washington County bureau since 1997, says criminal defense attorneys are always looking for experienced snoops. She misses reporting but needed a change, she says, and her former colleagues at the newspaper have already given her tips on what to call her P.I. business.
“I’m fairly well-endowed, so somebody suggested ‘Bust-out Investigations,” she laughs. “You can just call me Magnum P.I. for now.”