Anybody who knows me at all knows that I'm a big fan of Marshall McLuhan, the proto-media theorist from the 1960s who said (among a million other things) that "the medium is the message." In other words, McLuhan explained, "Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication."
That's a cardinal observation in my universe, and the reason I've been known to carry a business card on which my "job description" is "Staunch McLuhanist."
But few people these days have ever heard of Marshall McLuhan, nor are they familiar with this dictum about media and messages. So imagine my delight when the media started picking up on a moment in the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings yesterday and describing it as an "Annie Hall / Marshall McLuhan" moment. To whit, this post from yesterday's Daily Kos:
Today, Sonia Sotomayor had an actual Allen/McLuhan moment. Senator Jeff Sessions (Pompous racist, Ala.) contrasted Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark with NY Judge Miriam Cedarbaum, whom he said "believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices."
The reference is to this scene in Woody Allen's 1977 movie with Diane Keaton, Annie Hall:
Thus the Daily Kos post continues:
The Kos post was picked up and repeated by other media outlets during the day, among them Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's "Countdown." And so Marshall McLuhan is revived, and perhaps another generation will find out who made the pivotal observation that "the medium is the message," who coined the expression "global village," and what it all really means.