Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frankenstorm: Day Two and My Favorite Political Ad

Tuesday morning dawns cold and miserable but under full power. Frankenstorm has lived up to it’s clever name in places like New York City, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and in the higher elevations of Appalachia. For those of us living in central Virginia, Frankenstorm has turned out to be an over-hyped frenzy of meteorological hysteria, resulting in an extended school holiday, and a sales bonanza for the grocery business.

The biggest beneficiaries of this storm have been the 9 million or so people in the northeast who are at this moment without power and consequently are temporarily receiving relief from paid political advertising. My television has become an HD, flat screen, full color bullshit dispenser for the past two months, and to be totally honest with you, it’s starting to chip away at my sanity. There is no escape, no broadcast island I can escape to. No matter what I might be watching, be it sports, the History channel, or even a cooking show, every 13 minutes I am bombarded with rapid-fire character assassination. Tim Kaine is a puppet, Eric Cantor is a corporate tool, no wait,… he’s actually a savior of small business. Mitt Romney is the Snidely Whiplash of American politics, busy tying the screaming blond virgin that is the middle class to the railroad of poverty, as he greedily counts his millions. Barack Obama is coming after our guns, indeed the very foundation of western civilization crumbles literally under our feet every second that he remains President. George Allen is either the champion of black secretaries everywhere, or single-handily responsible for every lost job over the past ten years. I know all of this because the TV ads that are approved by each candidate tell me so.

My personal favorite is the one that lists every failure of Obama’s first term in rapid fire bullet points while ominous music plays in the background. Mysteriously, lights flicker throughout the add suggesting that Tim Kaine favors electrical blackouts. Then, a 2 second clip of Tim Kaine being interviewed by an unidentified journalist flashes on the screen in grainy black and white. Tim Kaine is heard saying…”I’m just doing what the President has asked me to do.” What we don’t hear is what the question was. We don’t hear anything said before or after this sinister declaration. The glaring omission of context leaves it to the imagination. Here are a few possibilities…

Info-Babe: Governor Kaine, Is it true that you not only pray for President Obama every day, but the Republican leaders in Washington as well?

Kaine: Well, I’m just doing what the President has asked me to do.

-or-

Info-Babe: Is it true that you are working daily behind the scenes to obstruct the will of the people of the State of Virginia by issuing regulations that will lead to communism and Sharia law?

Kaine: Well, I’m just doing what the President has asked me to do.

 

See, context can make a huge difference. But providing such context would be like taking the sizzle out of the steak. Instead, the men and women who create these ads prefer to treat us all like idiots. And as long as we allow such adds to influence our votes…and they do…we should get used to our status as idiots. *

 

 

 

 

 

 

* I’m Doug Dunnevant. I’m not running for office. This blog costs me nothing to produce, and I approve of it’s content. If you’re a Kaine supporter, don’t get excited. I’m not voting for him.