Glenns Greenwald get bent out of shape – as only Greenwald can – about the fact that Mike Huckabee got lots of bad press for using – allegedly, intentionally – a subliminal cross in an overtly Christian campaign commercial, while John McCain got nothing but good press for his ad, an emotionally powerful ad in which McCain relates a Christmas story from his captivity in Vietnam:
[T]he reverent reaction to McCain’s ad could not have been more different than the one provoked by Huckabee’s. Chris Wallace said: “That McCain ad is so powerful. You find yourself tearing up when you see that, obviously.” Obviously. A clearly moved Fred Barnes concurred with the only word that was needed: “Indeed.” Mort Kondracke gushed: “I think it was a great ad, and it had a religious overtone to it. . . . it should remind religious [voters] that there is another candidate in the options besides Huckabee.”
In what conceivable way could Huckabee’s ad, containing (arguably) a “subliminal” floating cross, constitute some grave breach of theological propriety, while McCain’s overt appeal to the cross in his political ad is some sort of inspiring, perfectly appropriate message?
Why does the Republican establishment think that Mike Huckabee should be barred from the use of Christian symbols while John McCain — and, for that matter, George Bush — are to be cheered when they do? Especially on this day, that strikes one as a deeply unfair standard.
Now, I was in the camp that thought Huckabee’s ad was pushing the limits a bit, but hardly anything to get agitated about – but whether you liked Huck’s ad or not, Greenwald misses the most obvious point of all: McCain was relating a story from his own life experience, and one that relates to the central narrative of McCain’s career. Now, it’s true enough that the media has had a long love affair with McCain, but Greenwald, who sneers at the emotional content of the ad, simply fails to comprehend – or finds it convenient to dismiss – the inspirational drama of McCain’s experiences as a POW.