MSM Derangement Syndrome


Michelle Malkin has returned to earth after a Drudge Report story had her highly suspicious (and a bevy of fellow travelers absolutely convinced) that CNN flashed a big black "X" in front of Dick Cheney's face during video of a speech as some sort of ploy to subliminally influence its audience. (Someone finally slowed down the video and noticed it was a pretty standard TV transition frame that got accidentally superimposed.)

OK, first, subliminal: "sub-" meaning below and "liminal" referring to a threshold, as in "below the threshold of conscious perception." If you noticed it, it ain't subliminal. More importantly, though: Have we really reached the point where upon seeing an obvious technical glitch in a live TV broadcast, the first reaction of many people—not folks living in mom's basement among stacks of old John Birch Society newsletters, mind you, but widely-read and well-remunerated pundits—is "subliminal brainwashing"? Really?

Addendum: And oh dear sweet freaking Jeebus, while I was wading around on that site, I noticed that a couple entries below, Malkin flips out over a quote from a Chris Matthews speech:

"The period between 9-11 and (invading) Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said."If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil. They just have a different perspective."

Malkin then slaps up a photo of bodies falling out of the World Trade Center (classy, Michelle) and asks "Remember this perspective?" Zing! Except it's pretty obvious that in context here the "other side" means Democrats and war opponents—the people with whom Matthews is saying the administration didn't have a "robust discussion." Or rather, it's pretty obvious if you're not in the grips of the assumption that Bush critics are ipso facto terrorist sympathisers.

Addendum-to-the-Addendum: Commenters aver that Matthews has, in fact, said stuff along the lines of the "just have a different perspective" line about Islamist terrorists. That didn't strike me as the intuitive or charitable reading in this context, but punditry, like a good cereal, has many varieties of nuts and flakes, so it's certainly possible.