When the photograph was invented, it was celebrated for its realism. Now we are aware as never before that pictures can deceive. Talk of “photo opportunities,” “sound bites,” and “spin control” has become standard fare in the media and part of our everyday discourse. But has our growing awareness that pictures can be fabricated enabled us to see through the artifice of professional image makers? In this important book, Kiku Adatto concludes that, in spite of our growing sophistication, we continue to be moved by the pictures we see on television, in movies, and in photographs because they tap into ideals and myths still alive in our culture. Based on hundreds of network newscasts and on interviews with reporters such as Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and Ted Koppel, as well as with political consultants such as Roger Ailes and Frank Shakespeare, Picture Perfect shows how the media find themselves in the paradoxical role of getting the best possible picture, even if this makes them accomplices in artifice, and then puncturing the picture to reveal the image as an image. The result is even more exposure for these contrivances. Picture Perfect traces the rise of our image-conscious sensibility beyond politics to art, popular culture, and social criticism, beginning with the invention of the photograph itself. With examples ranging from the Reagan presidency to Andy Warhol's hyperrealistic pop art to Oliver Stone's film JFK , Adatto documents the blurring of the boundaries between event and image, and the consequences for our understanding of ourselves.