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Posted by on Apr 12, 2006 in At TMV | 3 comments

Sounds Only Dogs Can Hear

I’ve been in the advertising and marketing world for a while now, and with that comes a fair amount of exposure to the production side of the business. What that means, for the purposes of this post, is that I’ve written and produced a fair amount of radio and television commercials.

Now, when I’m editing a radio or television spot, I really get into it and make sure every moment is just the way I want it. This can border on the obsessive, but that’s just how it goes. And a byproduct of really getting into it is hearing things that nobody listening to or watching a spot would ever catch.

One day I was a editing a radio spot for a local theme park here in Kansas City, and I kept on hearing this little “pop” in the audio track. The sound engineer didn’t hear it, but I did, and so we kept trimming and moving the audio track around. Still, it was there. I could hear it.

So the engineer, having enough of my obsessive ways, asked if he could bring somebody else in to listen to the spot. I agreed and we played the spot for the receptionist. Her verdict: “It’s funny.” I prodded, “Did you hear anything odd in there?” She shook her head, “No. Am I supposed to?” I wanted to say yes, but realized that while I was hearing something that may very well be there, nobody else would probably hear it.

After the receptionist left, the sound engineer offered me this advice, “That sound, it may very well be there, but we’re talking about sounds only dogs can hear.”

So in that spirit, I offer you these two paragraphs from the Washington Post about the Scooter Libby case:

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, Fitzgerald wrote yesterday that he wanted to “correct” the sentence that dealt with the issue in a filing he submitted last Wednesday. That sentence said Libby “was to tell Miller, among other things, that a key judgment of the NIE held that Iraq was ‘vigorously trying to procure’ uranium.”

Instead, the sentence should have conveyed that Libby was to tell Miller some of the key judgments of the NIE “and that the NIE stated that Iraq was ‘vigorously trying to procure’ uranium.”

Ahhh…it’s all clear now.

Wait, huh? Listen, this may be an important legal distinction (doesn’t seem like it), but whether or not this was a “key judgment” of the NIE is pretty much moot, yes? The result, regardless of whatever language was amended in this sentence, still remains that the administration pushed the press to pursue the story that Saddam was indeed ‘vigorously trying to procure’ uranium.

Have these facts been lost in the shuffle? Have they been rendered moot by the confusing Libby saga? Does anybody care?

Or perhaps these are now only sounds that dogs can hear.