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Old July 19th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #1
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Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


Hi. During the telecast of the Yankees-Rays game on Fox, there was an interesting (and controversial) reference to the practice, during Soviet times, of expunging people no longer in favor from photographs in which they had appeared. Tim McCarver, the broadcaster, compared the Yankees' airbrushing of former manager Joe Torre from the Yankee history displayed at the Stadium to what he said was the Russian (and German) practice during World War II of removing certain generals (ones who had been executed) from photos. That statement is what occasions my question. My understanding was that the Soviets had habitually removed POLITICAL figures no longer in the good graces of the leadership from photos (whether they had been executed or simply ousted). I had never heard that this practice primarily involved or even extended to military personnel. Nor had I heard of the Germans doing anything similar. So I would welcome any information or insights that you historians could furnish.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #2

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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


Yeah....Perhaps Tim should stick to what he knows.
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Old July 20th, 2010, 06:03 AM   #3

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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


Easily I can see it extending to the military, why not?
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Old July 20th, 2010, 06:12 AM   #4

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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


I have heard of the practice. In the days prephotoshop, it all had to be done manually and sometimes resulted in extra legs or arms of the deleted showing.

It has recently been done with Kim Il Jong

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/1..._n_141927.html

An interesting website on the history of photo doctoring.

http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid/re...italtampering/
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Old July 20th, 2010, 06:31 AM   #5
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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
I have heard of the practice. In the days prephotoshop, it all had to be done manually and sometimes resulted in extra legs or arms of the deleted showing.

It has recently been done with Kim Il Jong

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/1..._n_141927.html

An interesting website on the history of photo doctoring.

http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid/re...italtampering/
Very cool site...
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Old July 20th, 2010, 06:44 AM   #6
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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


Quote:
Originally Posted by diddyriddick View Post
Yeah....Perhaps Tim should stick to what he knows.
...which is how to be baseball's most boneheaded color guy.

(However, anything is better than Garagiola and Kubek (the Tower of Babel) from days of yore.)
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Old July 20th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #7

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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


Quote:
Originally Posted by diddyriddick View Post
Yeah....Perhaps Tim should stick to what he knows.
That would be awesome. Then he would never talk at all!
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Old July 20th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


To tjadams: You say, "Easily I can see it extending to the military, why not?" Certainly it's PLAUSIBLE, but is it something that in fact occurred historically? I did a little research; the Wiki page "Censorship of Images in the Soviet Union" is highly informative though admittedly not exhaustive. They have many pairs of images, Befores and Afters, to illustrate the excising of figures from photos in Soviet history. Indisputably the practice began many years before World War II (contra Tim McCarver's statement) and appeared exclusively directed at political figures. There are no instances, shown or referenced, involving "generals", as McCarver claimed was the sole focus, though as we all are repeatedly reminded "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." So my question is still partially unresolved, though I think I can tentatively conclude that if generals too were expunged they constituted but a small element of the overall practice and were unarguably NOT its raison d'etre (given its origin more than a decade earlier).
As for the question of whether Nazi Germany utilized this technique too, the web site link provided by Cicero (a VERY good one, Cicero, thank you--I found TV Guide's 1989 cover photo of Oprah with Ann-Margret's body truly bizarre and unbelievable!!) did include one 1937 photo where Goebbels had been removed when he apparently temporarily alienated Hitler, but there's no reason to believe the practice was widespread. But this too requires confirmation.
One thing I found very surprising in reading the responses was the prevalence and intensity of the hostility to Tim McCarver. Do you all really believe that he knows nothing about baseball? When he was the local broadcaster for the Mets quite a few years ago he was almost universally regarded (in New York, I mean) as a shrewd, baseball savvy, and humorous announcer, who displayed unusual honesty for a home-team broadcaster in evaluating the Mets. I was quite stunned by the vitriol towards him of so many of you.
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Old July 21st, 2010, 08:23 AM   #9

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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


http://www.shutuptimmccarver.com/
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Old July 21st, 2010, 01:16 PM   #10
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Re: Russian history alluded to in baseball telecast


Leakbrewergator, I looked at the McCarver "gems" at your link, and it fortified a conclusion I've gradually come to over the years: There's a strain in America, primarily but not exclusively in the midwestern and plains states, that's similar to the dominant cultural trait of Japan--deep resentment of anyone who doesn't behave in the mandated self-effacing way but instead tries to "stand out". Garrison Keillor, of The Prairie Home Companion, said in an interview I heard that he had to exile himself from Minnesota for many years because his fellow Minnesotans considered him a nail that insisted upon sticking out despite all their efforts to hammer him down and they treated him poorly because of it.

Sure, many of the critics of McCarver will cite supposed malapropisms and other trivial errors, but clearly what's motivating their efforts to belittle and discredit him is the fact that he refuses to be a relentlessly ordinary and deeply boring hack--like Joe Buck, for instance. The reason he was so widely hailed by critics and loved by viewers when he was a local broadcaster in New York was that the city welcomes, rather than tries to suppress, those who embrace their own potential uniqueness.

You historians should recognize this centuries-long pattern of small town parochialism making life miserable for even the slightly non-conforming, who eventually seek refuge in the metropolis, where at worst they find shoulder-shrugging, seen-it-all acceptance, and, more often, an enthusiastic reception for the very "oddness" that alienated their home-town.
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