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Sometimes a Victory Column is just a Victory Column

Posted by Richard on August 4, 2008

Bob Herbert can spot subtle signs of racism from a thousand yards with one eye closed, but he apparently has no idea what the Washington Monument and Leaning Tower of Pisa look like. This would be embarrassing for someone capable of embarrassment. Newsbusters has the story (emphasis in original):

The NYT columnist, a guest on today's Morning Joe, expanded on the theory set forth in his column of this past Saturday, Running While Black, that the McCain campaign ad mocking Obama as a Paris Hilton/Britney Spears-type celebrity was actually "designed to exploit" racist anxiety about black men and white women. …

It was in describing the McCain ad that Herbert's symptoms surfaced.

View video here.

BOB HERBERT: You guys have seen the ad a number of times, I am sure, and you have it here in-house.  First thing you see are a couple of images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, right?  And we see an image of Barack Obama right after that, comes quickly right at the beginning of the, you remember that, right?  Do you remember any other startling images right there at the beginning?

Silence on the set.

HERBERT: Alright. There is an image right there in that very beginning of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and there is an image of the Washington Monument. Look at the beginning of that ad again.  And you tell me why those two phallic symbols are placed there [snaps fingers]—pow!—right at the very beginning of that ad.

Over the course of the segment, the rest of the gang tried to gently talk Herbert down from his bad trip, calmly explaining that what he was seeing were in fact images of the Victory Column in Tiergarten Park in Berlin, where Obama chose to give his speech.  But by the end, Herbert was still speaking of seeing "two phallic symbols."  …

Wow. It didn't take long after the 2000 election for Bush Derangement Syndrome to develop and spread. But I'm seeing signs of McCain Derangement Syndrome already, and it's three months before the election. 

So, Sen. McCain, what did years of schmoozing the press, cozying up to your Democratic colleagues, and making nice to everybody but the members of your own party get you, exactly? Certainly not a fair shake (except from Lieberman, who is apparently too fair-minded to be welcome in the Democratic Party of today).

A word of advice, Senator McCain: don't go around offering people cigars. 

UPDATE: It just occurred to me: If the Tiergarten Victory Column is a phallic symbol, what about that tire gauge that Obama was … um, thrusting upon us the other day? 😉 

UPDATE 2: Instapundit finally catches up to me, and has some interesting new links regarding what I shall dub "phallogate." 

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