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August 13, 2008

Swiftboating A Facial Expression

Corsi-Obama-Cover

What makes a meme effective — be it verbal, visual or the combination — is repetition.

Does this image adorning Corsi’s poison-pill look familiar?  Or, what about this?

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Update 8/14 12 PM: A hat tip to Tony, a BAGnewsNotes reader, for pointing out how the sham-scholarship is telegraphed by the inversion of the title with the author’s name and degree.  (Plus, as far as I know, the “h” in Ph.D. is not capitalized.)

Finally, credit goes to Richard Silverstein (via a post at Metafilter) for noting something I completely missed on first pass.  If you say the title out loud without pause, the man you see in this otherwise-thoughtful pose is an abomination.

Update 2: 8/15 11:35 PM:  Thanks to everyone who pointed out my mistake re: the typography.  Yes, the relevance has to do with the employment of capitalization, EVEN ON THE SMALL CAPS, to further “heighten” the stature and professional degree of the man behind this slander.

Book on Obama Hopes to Repeat Anti-Kerry Feat  (NYT)

For a deeper treatment of the MSM’s racial and religious stereotyping of Obama, check out ObamaPhobia, an audio slideshow of my recent presentation at NetrootsNation.

  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    Corsi is a first class jerk. His book of lies is an abomination, indeed.

  • croatoan

    I dunno, I think it’s a great picture, and “Obama nation” is too immediately obvious a pun to have much sting.

  • ceabaird

    I like the emphasis on the “Ph.D.” It looks like there was a struggle in Corsi’s fevered imagination – what’s more important, my name and title (elitist) or the title of my “book”? And the tag “Leftist” – as if Corsi could define what that means.
    Typical recipient of wingnut welfare, ripping off ideas from other right-wing enablers and apologists. A proponent of “Abiotic Oil” – more head in the sand muddled “thinking” from the “intelligentsia” of the right.

  • Cactus

    I guess if anyone would know about cults, it would be a neocon. BTW, MediaMatters has a good rundown on Corsi’s rantings against the left, catholic church and women, all of which is reminiscent of the rantings of Rush.
    I’m trying to see in that photo what is so bad that it would turn off the rightwing nutso’s. Is it that the eyes are black, serious and looking off to the ‘left side’? Is it that the close crop of the mouth accents his ‘full’ lips? I just don’t get it. He looks mature, serious and competent. You don’t suppose Corsi has become a victim of his own bile and secretly adores Obama…………
    Well, I did wonder about his preoccupation with what he calls “buggering boys” when talking about priests and Muslims.

  • badedukation

    *heh* “I said PHD! FUCKER! LOOKIT ME! I’M A DOCK-TOR!”
    That’s what I see when I see Ph.D as big as the guy’s name.
    “CAN’T YOU SEE THE PH.D? I AM ARGUING FROM AUTHORITY HERE! MY OWN! HELLO! PH.D!”
    I bet he corrects anyone that calls him Mr.Corsi. “That’s Doctor Corsi.”
    Of course, the biggest cult in the country at the moment is the neo-con cult. The cult of pretend thinking. The cult of aggressive ignorance. The cult of gleeful hate. That’s what they do. That’s their thing. The are the cult of people that accuse everyone that doesn’t agree with them as being elitist on one hand but being very smart themselves but not elitist on the other. They are the cult of willful stupidity.

  • GeorgeF

    Hello badeducation. That’s why one of the most poison-spitting rightist homepage is calling itself “American Thinker”, I assume (being a German).

  • stepfordstaffer

    C:m(a\e)n trix

  • Tony

    Don’t most books have the title on the top and the author on the bottom of the cover???
    Badedukation is right. “I’m a PH.D., beeyatch!” However I predict an American #1 bestseller, intelligent nation that we are.

  • KansasKowboy

    Yeah the guy has his name and Ph.D. title as the most eye catching text. I saw this guy on the Daily Show. I thought the guy was an idiot. I guess he has to tell everyone he has a Ph.D. so that he won’t be mistaken as an idiot. Cactus asks what is it that neocons or rightwing nutso, it is the color of his skin Cactus. That is all.

  • KansasKowboy

    (Complete my sentence above) Cactus asks what is it that neocons or rightwing nutso see in the cover photo that is offensive, it is the color of his skin Cactus. That is all.

  • Liberal AND Proud

    Behold my big, swinging PHD.
    Not gonna work this time. Even sheep wake up eventually. The economy hasn’t bottomed yet, and if there is a McCain Administration when it does, then the revolution will begin. Yeah, they’ll try and scare us with terrorists. They may even stage an attack on a city, but that can backfire too. Human beings are quirky animals, and if things seem desperate, are quite capable of rising up to seek justice. Americans may be lazy, self centered and stupid, but they are human beings.

  • http://www.agrippinaminor.com/wp/ Scarabus

    OK. Here are your options:
    (a) This guy flies off the handle, acts heedlessly, and then thinks about it afterward, if at all. (Like, maybe, a guy who calls his wife a trollope and a cunt in public, then, having been reminded that was bad PR, apologizes afterward.)
    (b) This guy calculates the costs, the benefits, and the possible consequences before acting.
    Which of the two do you want representing our nation and holding a finger on the nuclear trigger? Seems to me this meme can be turned back against those propagating it, to Obama’s advantage. I can imagine a mash-up comparing loose cannon McCain with self-controlled Obama would make a nice viral YouTube video or campaign ad. And what adds a nicely piquant irony given the candidates’ respective chronological ages is that an uncontrollable temper is a sign of immaturity, self-control a sign of maturity.
    McCain’s first wife, Carol, said that when he returned home he was a 40 year old guy who wanted to act like a 25-year-old. Now he’s a 72 year old guy who acts like a 12-year-old.

  • http://www.worldwidewebers.net Karl Weber

    The capitalization of the H in Ph.D. is actually not an issue. The author’s name is set in what are technically called “small caps” and the appearance is correct, though perhaps slightly misleading to people not familiar with this typographic convention.

  • yev

    Not defending this schmuck at all, but clearly the ‘h’ in Ph.D. is not actually capitalized – looking at the rest of the name, the “lower case” text is being presented in smallcaps, easily visually contrasted with the full-size “actual” capital letters.

  • Cactus

    Hello GeorgeF and badedukation. You might also be interested in a book written by Richard Hofstadter (who at least had a German mother) “Anti-Intellectualism in American Life” pub. in 1963. He also wrote a history of violence in America (surprise!! it’s always by the right against the left) so the rightwing nutso’s have been demeaning him for decades. H.L.Mencken was always railing against the ignorance of the American public. Sad to say, it has only gotten worse since Reagan and his buddies set out to destroy education for the masses. (“Why should I pay to educate someone else’s child?”)
    KansasKowboy, I know they hate the color of his skin, but I was referring to what specifically about this photo they could hate, as differentiated from all the other photos of him (some, I would argue, much worse than this one).
    “Behold my big, swinging PHD.” LOL. But, then, isn’t that what rightwing nutso men are worried about? Thus we go back to his preoccupation with buggering boys. Hmmm…….
    And this book is over the imprint of Mary Matalin. As in she’s married to James Carville. As in doesn’t that explain Hillary’s and others of that DLC group’s ties to FauxNoos. As for the sales leading to #1 best seller before it is even out……they buy up boxes of this trash through rightwing sites and give them away. I’m sure some democratic organizations do the same for some liberal authors, but not just to increase sales. At least I hope not.

  • Johanna

    I think it is a beautiful picture of him, too. But the upward tilt of the right eyebrow, created by his hand position and not a natural part of his appearance, gives him a scheming look. Would that he had used some of that supposed quality to control the Clintons’ grabbing of a huge portion of the convention.

  • http://lancethruster.blogspot.com LanceThruster

    A telling bit of info on this book is that the best seller position has an asterisk because it got there by “bulk buys” meaning that a Reich Wing sugar daddy/momma made sure that it got a prominent position on the charts. Expect it to be given away “liberally” with many Reich Wing magazine subscriptions and other crap publications. “Special Offer!” my @ss!

  • Cactus

    Someone on Countdown checked the first 11 footnotes in the book. In nine of them, Corsi referenced Corsi. Circle jerk. That’s the same trick Darth pulled on the public. Leaked to the NYT, then went on TV and quoted his own leak as proof of what he leaked.

  • http://home.comcast.net/~sfs73/index.html MonsieurGonzo

    although the image of the dustjacket of this book is interesting for us to analyze as product packaging advertisement, in the spirit of René Magritte we could rightly say: “ceci n’est pas un livre. Because the “product” is not a book, really (it was never intended to be read, was it?) Rather, this image was meant to be referenced; ie., broadcast over an entirely different medium: video; specifically, the so-called ‘echo chamber’ of 24/7 cablenews media, and the World-Wide Web.
    in that sense The Book itself disappears, it becomes a meaningless 2-dimensional object, and its content itself truly a trap of this and that fact-not facets into which the more we wander, the more engaged we become in a game the nature of which the only way to “win” is to refuse to play. That is to say: to debunk this book is to give it that credibility it seeks for being a book, in the first place!
    so let’s twist it. Rather than relying on the old saw, let’s just say, sight unseen : “Don’t judge a cover by its book, apparent.”

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    Because the “product” is not a book, really (it was never intended to be read, was it?)
    The postmodern Republican Party has got this gaming the system thing cold. It’s a form of intellectual leger-de-main — it must be true because it was published. No one except perhaps one of Dr Corsi’s parents (and the fact checkers from Countdown) is actually going to sit down and read this book to find out otherwise. Listen to a detailed fact check? I think not.
    Here’s the mystery, the really interesting part of the saga of The Obama Nation: what evidence is there, besides the bestseller list, that anyone is the tiniest bit interested in this book? Have you heard anyone quote a compelling passage? Has anyone of your acquaintance discussed the quality of the writing or the depth of the research or how told you that reading this book changed their life? Was there a line at your local bookstore the night before The Obama Nation was released? Has anyone recommended this book as the next you should read?
    No? Why not?
    When a book comes out of nowhere to take the nation by storm it generates attention from readers. The Obama Nation sounds so boring you’d have to pay me to listen to a synopsis. The only person talking about the book is the author. How is it that he’s doing so in front of national TV audiences? Are these networks capable of competent research? Or does KKKarl call this shot?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7vCww3j2-w MonsieurGonzo

    “woof! woof! woof!” (that’s my other dog imitation :)

  • adhominy

    hmmm…Corgi has a PhD in Animal Husbandry & married a Horse Insemination Specialist…”In early 2003 Corsi was indicted and convicted for the distribution of child pornography. The scandal mushroomed when Corsi was handed a lenient sentence that included no prison time.Conspiracy theories surrounding Judge “Murkie” filled Ohio newspaper for weeks.Within a year, Corsi and friend John O’Neill published Unfit for Command…”

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