Beware the dreaded moir

The reaction to President Bush’s first prime-time press conference in more than a year? Muted. What people really felt strongly about? His tie.

Yes, as E! Online reports, the president’s dressers apparently failed to heed the advice I was given in my first broadcast news class: Avoid ties with small, high-contrast patterns, or your viewers will fall victim to the hypnotic moiré effect. It’s a distracting appearance of movement as the image of the tie’s pattern gets filtered through the pixels on your television screen. (I’m sure there’s a better way to explain this, but you get the point.)

According to a tongue-in-cheek Knight Ridder story, rumors that “Bush’s tie shut down the electric grid in Ohio and hypnotized Americans into forming a cult that worships presidential adviser Karen Hughes” are likely untrue.

Still, will heads roll in the West Wing over tiegate?