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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Does The New McCain Ad Have Subliminal Messaging?

Is there a subliminal message in the new John McCain ad titled, "The Obama Iraq Documentary: Whatever the Politics Demand"? That is the question being asked by some.

YouTube URL here and video below:

John McCain released a seven minute mini documentary about Barack Obama comparing statements made by Obama about Iraq, on different occasions and making comparisons to other statements made at different times.

If that ad is frozen at one specific moment it shows, for a fraction of a second, Obama framed by the following prominent letters: “a l q D.” The I is a capital i but can be mistaken for the the letter L in certain fonts.

As the ABC News blog points out, if you put the letters “al qD” into the search feature of google, you get this response: “Did you mean: al qaeda.”

The question being asked now is, was this intended as a deliberate subliminal message?

A subliminal message, as described in Wikkipedia (as a reference) is " a signal or message embedded in another medium, designed to pass below the normal limits of perception. These messages are unrecognizable by the conscious mind, but in certain situations can affect the subconscious or deeper mind and later actions or attitudes.

According to McCain spokesman Brian Rogers, the lettering was creating using a text randomizer, where a computer program randomly chooses the text that appears. Rogers goes on to state, for the record, "The idea that it’s in any way done by the campaign intentionally is preposterous."

He goes on to state that since the mini documentary's release on Thursday, hundreds of thousands of people have viewed it and no one had asked about those letters until ABC.

Rogers concludes with, "It’s so subliminal, even when it’s freeze-framed, it’s incomprehensible. We didn’t freeze-frame every frame in an eight-minute video to trouble shoot what liberal-bloggers might attack us for.”

According to Matthew Dowd who is a former strategist for President Bush who is now an ABC News consultant, he asserts that something like this should have been noticed before release and he goes on to state, "Part of what you have to do in a campaign is prevent the unintentional problem -- and that’s a problem. We know what’s happened with this ever since 2000 -- it’s a problem to do that. It’s either a malpractice problem of somebody who did this, or it’s an oversight problem. I’m much more inclined to think it’s oversight.”

Was it deliberate? Is it the over-active imagination of those looking for nefarious intent?

You decide, watch the video and comment below.