1. Political ads say this to me: “This country is full of morons and governed by cretins.” Among the attack ads we’ve seen in this political season — a candidate for attorney general is lambasted for voting in favor of a gas tax increase. Let’s review: He’s running for attorney general. Though we’re starting to think of our government as a multiheaded imperial entity, it’s actually an organization of clearly defined roles.
We’ve also seen our local nice-guy delegate ripped in a series of last-day direct mail garbage (can someone give me a spam filter for my damn mailbox?) accusing him of, among other things, not sponsoring legislation on day laborers in the neighboring county. This was somehow tied into something about how he isn’t keeping us safe from al-Qaeda. I don’t know — I glazed over, balled it up and threw it in the trash. It’s slick paper, so I don’t know if I can recycle it, and I’m afraid to burn it.
They run these ads because the only way to get our fat, lazy asses to the polls is to make them think they’re keeping America safe from the horrible monsters they’re running against.
I just saw three of these suckers in a row during one ESPN ad break. I’ll have to stop watching live TV in October and go all-DVR, all the time.
2. Yes, I’m a journalist, and I believe most accusations against the media are overblown or just plain wrong. But sometimes, yes, reporters’ blind spots and their inability to think outside their limited social circles can catch up with them. Also, we’re bloodthirsty — when we think a public figure is wounded, we’re like sharks. No, wait — hyenas. Yeah, hyenas.
That would explain the last two months of political coverage. Yes, we know Bush isn’t doing well these days. But at what stage have we gone overboard? Today’s Washington Post offers part 38 of its series on the sudden decline of the GOP by concluding that the party is in severe trouble in the 2006 elections. I had to check the calendar to make sure I hadn’t fallen into a blissful coma for a year. Nope, still 2005. That’s a full year and an entire campaign season of negative ads to change everyone’s minds.
But that apparently hasn’t occurred to the Post, which apparently is responding to wingnuts’ accusations of liberal bias not with a reasonable logical response but with, “Oh yeah? Watch THIS!” It’s a good thing we haven’t reached full multimedia status in journalism, or Post.com’s home page would pair the headline “GOP set for big losses” with an audio clip of Nelson Muntz’s “HA-ha!”
I think it was another Simpsons character (or two) who put it best: “When will people realize — democracy DOESN’T WORK!”