Sunday, March 02, 2008

BREAKING! I'm About to Defend Hillary

Friday, the blogosphere was going crazy over Hillary's "Parents better not fall asleep on Obama's watch" ad the other day. I found it objectionable as a Dem on Dem ad, and already said my piece on it (scroll down to read, and see the video). But Ann Althouse took a closer look and found something else [emphasis mine]...
"Why are the letters 'NIG' on the child's pajamas?"

Asks a commenter — "Tom" — on my post about the new Hillary Clinton commercial, the one that shows several children sleeping and then Clinton taking a national security phone call in the middle of the night. You can see the commercial at the link, and the pajamas in question are on display during seconds 11 and 12. On pausing, staring, and thinking, I believe these are pajamas that say "good night" all over them, but the letters "NIG" are set apart by a fold in the fabric.

Is the campaign responsible for sending out a subliminal message to stimulate racist thoughts in the unsuspecting viewer? It is either deliberate or terribly incompetent. There is no other writing on screen until the very end of the commercial, and if letters appear in any place in a commercial, they should be carefully selected letters. Certainly, each image is artfully composed and shot and intended to deliver an emotional impact...

Here it comes...Althouse is nuts and this story is complete crap! There is a simple explanation for why this is NOT subliminal racist messaging—THIS IS STOCK FOOTAGE! Hillary and her ad team didn't "artfully compose and shoot" this, this is footage purchased from a stock photo/video source and assembled into an ad.

How do I know this? Because it's what agencies do. It is cost- and time-prohibitive to cast, set-up and shoot stuff like that. It's why Obama's response ad uses the SAME footage of the house exterior and the other kids at the beginning—they both bought the footage. I suspect the only reason Obama's ad doesn't show the same pajama shot is that his ad has already cut away to footage of him.

I am not aware of any stock video houses that offer a category of "subliminal N-words for use in campaigns against black candidates." This is simply a coincidence that the word NIGHT is partially obscured.
[...] nothing compared to "NIG" isolated on a sleeping child's shoulder in an ad intended to create doubts about a black man's ability to take an urgent phone call at 3 a.m., an ad authorized by a candidate who has already heard accusations that her campaign is slipping racial material into its attacks on her opponent.

This is either a revolting outrage or shocking incompetence.

More projection there...I'm not sure the message of this ad has anything to do with Obama being a black man answering the phone, just that he's inexperienced, according to HRC.

Althouse and anybody else making any kind of deal out of this are looking through a delusio-microscope to find shit that simply isn't there. Althouse is the same columnist who dissected the stupid Clinton "Sopranos" ad a couple years ago and found vaginas in every plate of onion rings and carrot-penises ready to dive into them. Ridiculous.

[via Benen]


Mr Furious said...

O/T: Althouse is a pretty good amateur photographer though...

S.W. Anderson said...

You're right about Althouse's charge being complete lunacy. Somebody get a net and a jacket that ties in the back.

Regarding the supposed scare message in Clinton's ad, you're reading into it, like many other Obama supporters.

The woman is presenting herself as more experienced and better able to handle the inevitable sudden and potentially dangerous incidents all modern presidents are confronted with.

Maybe you agree, maybe you don't; that's OK. But don't put things into the ad that aren't there. For instance, trying to make people afraid we're about to be infected, gassed or fried any minute now isn't in Clinton's ad. Neither is showing a mushroom cloud erupting in a child's eye, as it was in the classic LBJ 1964 ad.

Hillary's not saying you ought to be afraid all the time, the way Bush and now McCain do. She's saying danger happens and when it does, you want someone with my experience and judgment as your president, that's all.

It's a type of message any candidate who wants to get elected needs to put before the voters. We'll see it from McCain and before it's over with, from Obama, too, in some form.

Smitty said...

I don't agree, SWA. Given that she continualy attacks Obama on lack of experience, and uses that as her gold-standard, the ad speaks directly to Obama not having experience. It follows what political ads are supposed to do: mention you, not your opponent, and insinuate that your opponent is the opposite of what you offer. It's a classic campaign move. It insinuates that electing Obama is electing someone unprepared to take the call at 3 in the morning.

She's saying danger happens and when it does, you want someone with my experience and judgment as your president, that's all.

Yes, and insinuating that Obama, if elected, not only can't handle it but, by being opposite, which is the purpose of campaign ads, will actually guarantee your demise. She doesn't say it, which could be considered libel, but she suggests it, and I think it is quite clear, given, again, that the focus of her campaign speeches are that she is experienced to handle this stuff, not him.

Deb said...

I practically spit my tea through my nose. Subliminal messaging? That's giving Hil's campaign a LOT of credit.

Mr Furious said...

Exactly, Deb...they can't even get the obvious messaging to work...

Angelos said...


John Howard said...

This reminds me of that one time, when Obama subtly made sexist comments about women on their periods.

These candidates are very, very clever to be able to weave in these subliminal messages that can only be discovered by people who will be angry about them, and ignored by everyone else. It's a brilliant strategy, because, what presidential candidate wouldn't want people to be angry at them?

And actually, this one is worse than you think. Even if the word is only supposed to mean "night" as you suggest, it's still obviously racist, because what color is the sky at night? That's's Obama...he's black too. And nothing good ever happens at night, which is why the phone's ringing in the first place.

All in all, a brilliant ad. After seeing this, racists everywhere will certainly not vote for Obama.

Rickey Henderson said...

Wow, Rickey can assure the paranoid delusional who took the time to dissect that photo that the Clinton campaign IS NOT up to the task of anything that deceptive.

Mr Furious said...

Hilarious, John. I agree. Even if they could pull that stuff off, it's not changing minds... You need to be too finely tuned to even digest it, and if you are, your mind is already made up.

The Obama remarks seemed completely harmless to me, and I was willing to dismiss them completely, but Melissa McEwan made a good point about it being a more common phraseology than I was aware of. Not sure if I buy that, but I can tell you I would never hear it that way, and I suspect the only people who would are misogynists or feminists, in both cases a net effect of zero, IMO.