Michael Goldfarb, one of the lesser stars in the Kristol Nebula, slips his thumbs in his braces and haw-haws at the fact that candidate backdrops are stage-managed for effect:

The Tartan, Carnegie Mellon’s student newspaper, reports on a campaign event featuring Michelle Obama:

While the crowd was indeed diverse, some students at the event questioned the practices of Mrs. Obama’s event coordinators, who handpicked the crowd sitting behind Mrs. Obama. The Tartan’s correspondents observed one event coordinator say to another, “Get me more white people, we need more white people.” To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, “We’re moving you, sorry. It’s going to look so pretty, though.”

“I didn’t know they would say, ‘We need a white person here,’ ” said attendee and senior psychology major Shayna Watson, who sat in the crowd behind Mrs. Obama. “I understood they would want a show of diversity, but to pick up people and to reseat them, I didn’t know it would be so outright.”

The Obama campaign discriminates against people of color, and their own supporters no less, in what is presumably a misguided pander to white voters. Very strange, but perhaps Obama’s candidacy really has transcended race in America (surely this is a first). Alternatively, the campaign may just plan to stage-manage it out of public view.

Yes, without a few marshmallows in his sea of cocoa followers all will be lost for Obama, so pander away.

Personally I can’t imagine any other politician attempting to use backdrops to send coded messages.

Everything but the codpiece

Okay. Maybe I can.

And, for those who grew up in the age of talkies, scripting works wonders too:

In her October 19 syndicated column, Michelle Malkin took to task "[t]he Associated Press, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell and others in the Bush-bashing press corps" for "accus[ing] the White House and 10 soldiers from the Army’s 42nd Infantry Division of ‘staging’ " an October 13 video conference in which President Bush spoke with soldiers stationed in Iraq. Malkin also criticized NBC News for "indulging in its Bush-deranged feeding frenzy over the ‘staged’ talk with the troops." But the very same NBC Nightly News report specifically referenced by Malkin included extended video of preparations for the event making it abundantly clear that it was, in fact, "staged."

Malkin’s comments echoed those of The Washington Times, which had similarly expressed skepticism that "some of the soldiers who appeared had supposedly been coached by White House aides."