My Newsbusters colleague Mark Finkelsteincaught the Times' usually mild-mannered left-wing columnist Bob Herbert seeing "phallic symbols" in the John McCain ad comparing Barack Obama to celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.
Here's what Herbert told a no-doubt stunned panel on Joe Scarborough's MSNBC talk show "Morning Joe" Monday morning (Click on Herbert's picture to watch Herbert embarrass himself,and stay forPat Buchanan's zinger at the end.)
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 ad, you remember that, right?Do you remember any other startling images right there at the beginning? [Two-second pause] 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.
Not only is Herbert making a bizarre leap with his paranoid, dime-store Freudianism, he's apparently not even right - Herbert's "phallic symbols" of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Washington Monument appear tosimply beshots from differing angles ofthe Victory Column in Tiergarten Park in Berlin, where Obamagave his vaunted speech. Apparently Republicans aren't even allowed to use images of Obama in Berlin anymore.