Subliminable Advertising
(?) September 17th, 2000
Recently, George W. Bush made a humungous blunder.  Not only does the man seem incapable of pronouncing words like "subliminable" -- no, wait, "subliminable" -- now he's got me doing it!  Subliminal!  Not only is he seemingly incapable of saying that word, but he is also making his campaign vulnerable to accusations guessed it...conspiracy.

A tape of George W. practicing for his upcoming debate with Gore somehow ended up in the hands of a Democratic Party campaign boss.  It was a tape that should never have been anywhere near the other side; it's like sending your enemy the plans for your next attack on their forces.  The campaign boss supposedly sent it to his lawyer, who then arranged for sending the tape back to Bush's camp.

That's just one wrinkle.

Earlier in the week, a writer with Vanity Fair claimed that Bush had dyslexia.  This seemed a perfectly reasonable explanation for his mistake, though I personally don't buy it.  Bush now denies he ever "interviewed her," making another obvious mistake that can't be explained by a reading disorder (most of the time, candidates are the ones being interviewed). 

That's the second wrinkle.

The third is a commercial that Bush's people ran for only a short time.  It was an attack ad that talked about democrats and bureaucrats,  and flashed the word RATS on the screen long enough for the word to be subliminally implanted in the viewer's brain.  The result of this, according to experts, is that the viewer associates bureaucrats and democrats with rats. 

But the value of subliminal communication is hotly debated.  Like many things we write about on The Skeptic Report, there is just no evidence that subliminal advertising has any effect at all. 

To quote the Skeptic Dictionary's entry on Subliminal communication:

Unfortunately, "...years of research has resulted in the demonstration of some very limited effects of subliminal stimulation" and no support for its efficaciousness in behavior modification (Hines, 312).

We'll let that be the last word on the subliminal controversy.  If Bush's camp was really trying that hard to influence peoples' minds, you'd think they would be able to improve the Governor's vocabulary. 



June 11th, 2001

A Million Damn Dollars
May 31st, 2001

Government Stooges
May 13th, 2001