John McCain’s Misadventures in the Skin Trade

Remember back when HDTV was still emerging and internet list-makers began compiling which stars would suffer the most under the format’s punishing clarity? Cameron Diaz was tagged for acne scars. Renee Zellwegger’s “lightly botchy red face” was noted in Time. John Travolta’s hair was called into question. Now, will presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain suffer the same fate?

According to Slate’s Timothy Noah, McCain’s face didn’t look so good on this week’s Saturday Night Live when viewed on HDTV:

As someone who’d pooh-poohed the age issue, I found myself gasping at McCain’s mug as transmitted in glorious HDTV. Wrinkles, blotches, liver spots, scarry tissue—none of these were hidden by McCain’s makeup. As McCain cracked wise (“What do we want in our next president? Certainly someone who is very, very, very old.”), I found myself thinking, Jeez, he doesn’t look like a guy who’ll turn 72 this August. He looks like a guy who’ll turn 82.

McCain’s campaign staff can’t do much about the guy’s age, but Mr. Noah has this confidential suggestion: “CBS’s Face the Nation and NBC’s Meet the Press won’t upgrade to high-def this year, and therefore might be safer venues through November.”

Those shows could be McCain’s last chance. (This time he’d better look right!)

John McCain’s Misadventures in the Skin Trade