Bob Herbert: Why is everyone missing the phallic symbols in McCain's Britney ad?

Between this and last week’s Godwin-ing of the crowd scenes, I’m honestly curious to see where the left takes the critique next. One would think they’d either run out of cards to play or would quietly pocket the ones they have left lest they make themselves look more ridiculous, but each new day brings a fresh load of semiotic ore mined. It’s the “Ulysses” of campaign ads — the only limit on what it means is your own imagination. Still, Herbert’s reading warrants special mention, not only because it manages to be simultaneously exceedingly paranoid and pedestrian but because he mangles a fact here so basic that it discredits his entire claim to be a close reader. The tower seen behind Obama at the beginning of the ad is obviously the Victory Column in Berlin — where he recently spoke to 200,000 people, remember? — not the Leaning Tower of Pisa or Washington Monument. For Herbert to get that wrong despite the massive publicity surrounding the location of the speech, especially after it was moved from the Brandenburg Gate, is like having a chyron beneath him that reads, “I don’t know what I’m talking about.” But then, none of the MSNBC staff corrected him so I guess they don’t know what they’re talking about either. Click the image to watch.

Update: I mentioned the fact that Obama has compared himself to Paris Hilton in at least three different posts last week, but for some reason that news is just breaking big today so here’s a link to Newsbusters with the details.

Update: Ah, I see Mark Finkelstein’s post mentions that the Morning Joe crew did eventually point out to Herbert that he had his monuments mixed up. Exonerated!

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Jazz Shaw 8:01 PM on December 06, 2022