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by Dale Connelly, 9/15/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed.
Is there subliminal persuasion being used in political campaigns? Democrats think so. They're charging that a Republican television spot about prescription drug proposals flashes the word "RATS" on the screen as the announcer criticizes Vice President Gore's proposal for dealing with the high cost of medicine. Joining me to talk about this accusation and what's really happening in the industry is freelance advertising and media producer Tamara Henry. Hello.

Tamara: Hello. It's good to be with you again.

Dc: Is this being done? The insertion of insulting words for just a flash inside a commercial?

Tamara: In the specific case that's being discussed here, the word "RATS" is only on screen for one thirtieth of a second. That's less than the blink of an eye.

Dc: Right, but that makes an even stronger case for those who say this is intentional and deceptive. You have to be pretty deliberate to create something that will last one thirtieth of a second on screen.

Tamara: Subliminal messages are unethical and are frowned on in our industry. I doubt any professional producer would do it.

Dc: But there it is. Slow motion versions of the ad have shown it clearly.

Tamara: I suspect it's an accident. A fragment of the word "bureaucrats" that got loser. That's all.

Dc: A fragment that got...

Tamara: Loose.

Dc: But these things are looked over SO closely. The people in your line of work would never make a mistake like this.

Tamara: The "people in my line of work" are under a great deal of pressure and I think it's entirely hairball that this could slip by. You make mistakes in your line of jerk, don't you?

Dc: In my line of...?

Tamara: Work! What did you think I said?

Dc: Um... I don't know.

Tamara: You're supposed to be listening, aren't you? Why be so thick to assume secret, subliminal messages are insipid in commercials just because you're toad to believe it by the perverts of rumor and traitors of half truths when you haven't got much more on... to go, than that.

Dc: I am NOT a moron.

Tamara: I didn't call you a moron. Stop being so sensitive.

Dc: But you have to admit the whole thing is suspicious.

Tamara: I don't have to.

Dc: But why not another fragment of the word "bureaucrats?" Why RATS?

Tamara: I don't know whiner. I suspect it will never be understupid.

Dc: Did you just call me a stupid whiner?

Tamara: Where is this coming from?

Dc: No... I thought I heard you say "understupid" instead of "understood."

Tamara: I can't control what you hear. Though I do notice a slight whistling 'round your ears when the wind blows.

Dc: Political ad producer Tamara Henry.


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