Sometimes, a shelf is just a shelf? Freud and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee might be thinking alike. Yesterday, we wrote about what appeared to be a not-too-subliminal cross image in a TV ad for Huckabee in Subliminal Religious Message in Huckabee Ad. The New York Post reports that Huckabee is denying that the glowing cross is anything more than a meaningless prop:
Mike Huckabee yesterday denied that he inserted an image of a white cross behind him in an unprecedented campaign ad celebrating Christmas. “That was a book shelf,” Huckabee insisted, responding to controversy over the religious message in his 30-second spot appearing in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. [From the New York Post – Huck’s Cross to Bear by Carl Campanile.]
We’d never suspect an ordained Baptist minister of dissembling, but surely the creators of the ad had to be aware of the cross image. It’s the brightest thing in the frame, and it hovers to the side of Huckabee’s head throughout. While videographers sometimes lose track of a scene’s background and shoot, say, a cell phone tower that appears to be sprouting from an announcer’s head, in a slickly produced 30-second spot nothing is left to chance. Even if the shelf had been a mere prop to begin with, the commercial’s creators could hardly have failed to notice its symbolic value.
What do you think – is the cross image entirely unintentional or clever subliminal design?