September 3, 2004


Critics say they saw a 'subliminal' cross in the GOP podiums and they are upset and offended. (RNS, 9/03/04)

Some offended observers saw Christian crosses in the wood panels of lecterns at the Republican National Convention, but others say these critics are cross-eyed. The debate intensified Thursday when The New York Times ran a front-page photo of Vice President Dick Cheney standing behind a lectern that had multicolored panels forming an image that some are convinced is a Christian cross. To Cheney's right is a smaller lectern, in which contrasting colored patterns more clearly intersect in a cross-like pattern.

Speaking on CNN, Karl Rove, Bush's chief strategist, dismissed the notion that Republicans are sending a subliminal message of Christian symbolism. "My God, where do they come up with this stuff?" Rove said.


Posted by Orrin Judd at September 3, 2004 4:34 PM

Man do I feel embarrassed. I'm an evengelical protestant and I completly missed it, at least consciously.

Posted by: Jeff at September 3, 2004 4:39 PM


You probably also didn't notice that the dais was "intentionally made to look like the rubble-pile from which he used the bullhorn"

Posted by: oj at September 3, 2004 4:46 PM

I didn't notice it, but I did get a burning sensation all over while I was watching.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at September 3, 2004 4:55 PM

I didn't see the cross, but the two rectangular flags framing the president sure reminded me of the Twin Towers.

Posted by: Buttercup at September 3, 2004 5:48 PM

This is hilarious. Why would they worry about subliminal messages when the delegates were led in prayer every night? Isn't that a more obvious message?

Posted by: David at September 3, 2004 7:10 PM

It's good to see that subliminal messages (like the one that the holes in Ritz crackers spell "SEX") are still anintegral part of conspiracy theories.

Next they'll be playing Arnold's speech backwards for the secret Neo-Nazi messages.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 3, 2004 7:17 PM

Which reminds me, whatever happened to Wilson Bryan Key?

Posted by: Joe at September 3, 2004 7:25 PM

Weren't those subliminal seduction books a hoot? My favorite was a Playboy centerfold of a beautiful naked blonde on all fours on a bed, and if you held the corner of the page up to the light, you could sorta-kinda see the word "sex" formed by folds of the sheets. I remember thinking "oh, so that's why I thought that picture was arousing! I thought it was the girl, but it was actually those three letters in the corner that I didn't even know I saw! Yeah, riiiight."

Posted by: PapayaSF at September 3, 2004 8:00 PM


She's fully clothed.

Posted by: oj at September 3, 2004 8:07 PM

The cross is on the podium.

The cross is on the podium.

A blue moon rises over Rio.

A blue moon rises over Rio.

The pineapples will be served with cheese.

The pineapples will be served with cheese.

You know what to do, people. Get to work.

Posted by: Andrew X at September 3, 2004 8:18 PM


Which book is that? I only have the first three (purchased way back in undergrad college, when I was actually half-prepared to believe in that nonsense, especially given that I devoured the huge collection of Bircher literature that a local dentist donated to my school).

Posted by: Joe at September 3, 2004 9:11 PM


Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 3, 2004 9:22 PM

I actually got off my lazy, beer-drinking a** to go see Wilson Bryan Key lecture at the Grand Ballroom at Bowling Green State University, circa 1976! I had devoured two of his books and I was ripe for conspiracy. I have since calmed down considerably. I also saw Bucky Fuller in that same venue... I have since calmed down about geodesic domes.

None of the citations online speak of him in the past tense...he must still be alive.

And one more thing: I think he was a Canadian... do with that what you will.

Posted by: Brian McKim at September 3, 2004 10:03 PM

The crosses were intended to drive vampires from the hall. They worked until the last night, when two protestors had to be physically pitched out by the security detail.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at September 3, 2004 10:50 PM

Who the hell is Brian Wilson Key?

Posted by: oj at September 3, 2004 11:14 PM

Paul is dead.

Posted by: Melissa at September 3, 2004 11:44 PM

Slightly OT - I missed the video before Bush spoke (the one showing him with the bullhorn, throwing the pitch at Yankee stadium, etc). Anyone know where I can see this video? thanks

Posted by: AWW at September 4, 2004 12:37 AM

Anyone else remember carefully studying the ice cubes in liquor ads? And don't even get me started on the picture of the clam strips on the Howard Johnson's place mats. . .

Posted by: David Cohen at September 4, 2004 12:56 AM

I just got finished watching Zell Miller and this segment again via C-Span. Both were tremendous.

Go to
Click on C-SPAN GOP Convention.
Click on Republican Convention: Day 4, Part 2.
Slide the Real Player to 44:40.

Get ready to sob. I'd pay for a DVD of this. Fred Thompson narration, beautifully and economically written, excellent music.

Posted by: Melissa at September 4, 2004 1:07 AM

Commentators who bring up crap like this should at least have the decency to wear tinfoil hats when they do.

Posted by: Bart at September 4, 2004 11:18 AM

Orrin, back in the '60s, Key wrote books that purported to find subliminal exhortations to lubricity in every ad: sex in the shadows on the ice cubes in a vodka ad.

That was on the cover of his first book, as I recall.

Never got any further into it than that, but Key was red meat for newspaper featurists. If talk radio and Tv had existed then, he'd have been a superstar.

Think of a securlar version of finding Jesus in a picture of pizza

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 4, 2004 3:02 PM

With pepperoni?

Posted by: ratbert at September 4, 2004 4:18 PM


Geez, I'll have to try and find one. Sounds like a nutter.

Posted by: oj at September 4, 2004 5:33 PM

Amazon has his books. The clam strip plate I referred to was also his. He saw an orgy in the strips.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 4, 2004 11:23 PM

OJ, Melissa - thanks

Posted by: AWW at September 5, 2004 11:13 PM