Tuesday, November 4, 2014

It's Almost Over Again....For A While....

This morning, TV again was filled with those horrible, rotten, lying, distorted, crappy political ads.  If the ads were to be believed – and, most certainly, they are NOT to be believed – both candidates for Wisconsin Attorney General are horrible lawyers who spent their legal lives trying to make sure that child molesters don’t go to prison.


When I first saw the horrible ad against Pat Bomhack, created by those nice businessmen over on East Wash at Blair (WI Manufacturers and Commerce), I had no idea who Pat Bomhack was or even what office he was running for, but I knew immediately that if I could vote for him, I would have to. The announcer the nice businessmen hired to do the voice track for the anti-Bomhack ad has the most annoying voice ever heard in the history of political advertising. As it turns out, I can’t vote for Pat Bomhack, because he’s running for Dale Schultz’s old senate seat.

My state senator is Fred Risser, the oldest living human being ever to hold office in Wisconsin, who helped pour water on the state capitol when it caught fire in 1904.


And then there’s the last-minute smear attempt by the Walker campaign gurus – who would like us to believe that Mary Burke was fired in disgrace from her dad’s company, but before she was, she outsourced millions of jobs to China or Bangladesh or Timbuktu or someplace. Oh, and this “news item” was broken by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Republican Party….a stupid little glorified blog….that our state’s “mainstream media” immediately elevated to the status of respectable news organization by picking up the “news item” and running it as though it had come from Reuters or the Associated Press. Nice job, watchdogs.

Don’t expect TV news departments to come down too heavily on the disgusting sea of garbage foisted on us day and night in the form of “issue advertising” or “political advertising”.  And don’t get me going on the difference between the two; it’s another one of those absurd rules the politicians have created for themselves. After all, it was the landfill of money spent on political ads in 2010 that rescued a lot of local TV stations, still reeling from the great recession.


And while I’m on the topic….which campaign used the Swastika as part of its political advertising? That would be Mary Burke’s brain trust. Please don’t tell me it’s OK to use the Nazi imagery in political advertising, because it’s not, under any circumstances.


One more race I’d like to mention: the race for U.S. Senate in Iowa. I have a lot of friends who live in Iowa, and from time to time in my “day job” I have to cover news in Iowa, so I pay some attention to what’s going on there. The image above is the one that candidate Joni Ernst first wanted to portray – motorcycle-riding former soldier and mother, with “conservative values”.


But if you know her name, it’s probably because of the ad she ran where she talked about growing up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm. The implication of the ad was that she’d go to Washington and castrate all those big-spenders. "Make 'em squeal", as she said. That’s the ad the national media picked up on, and the lens through which candidate Ernst was portrayed on every national news outlet: the castrator.  The national news media never seem to mention that Ernst is a Michelle Bachman clone, with unbelievable whacky ideas about what government is, and Ernst’s campaign speeches often include a line about her military background, and how she’s got a gun and knows how to use it “in case the government comes after my rights”.

Obama’s Secret Muslim Army is coming to get us all in their black helicopters, right, Joni?

After the votes are counted tonight, there’ll be a respite for us; no rotten, negative, lying, disgusting political ads for a while.  But in the next election cycle, they’ll be back, with their dark and brooding images, their outright lies, their last-minute smears.

Until we clarify the laws about what political advertising is, and whether money is speech, we’re doomed to repeating the sickening cycle.


  1. Tim, there ought to be a law where the candidate must sign on the dotted line and appear in the political ad saying "I approved this message." I hate it when these filthy rich political groups from Michigan or wherever devise these anonymous attack ads (or more accurately, lies) while the benefitting candidate smiles and hides behind the crap that is being spewed about their opponent.

  2. I was interested to note the relative dearth of political ads this cycle on the two stations for which I toil. Walker was on for about three weeks on one of them; a third-party spot with a strident, stentorian announcer (maybe the one you refer to you in your comment above) who was exhorting people to oppose a hike in the minimum wage ran for a couple of weeks on the other. It was nothing like 2012, when there were multiple politicals in each break. So that's something.

    If people voted out of firmly held beliefs arrived at logically and applied consistently, the Badgercare and minimum wage advisory referenda would have been decided by about the same margins as the governor's race. But thousands of Wisconsin voters who like the idea of a health care safety net and $10.10 an hour also voted for a governor (and legislature) that are unalterably opposed to both. Such inconsistent, illogical electoral behavior comes from the laser-focused distortions of this sort of dark-money political advertising.

    1. Radio and print didn't get much of the money at all in this cycle; it all went to TV.

      Your second paragraph is a favorite topic of mine: people too ill-informed, unenlightened, or just plain stupid to realize they're actually voting against their own wishes.

  3. Yah, well.

    Burke ran on her "business experience"--and nothing else. No repeal of Act 10, some minor noise about 'minimum wage,' and .....nada.

    So when anyone breaks a story (which has the advantage of being absolutely true) that tells us her "business experience" was so bad that she was canned from her own father's company, it sorta makes a difference in her principal attribute, right?

    Or do you have facts, verified by 4 directly-involved people, which contradict the story?

    In fact, the entire (D) strategy in that campaign was "not Walker." On the other hand, "not Obama" worked for Senate candidates all across the country.

    The lesson: while Obama's programs are intensely disliked, Walker's are not.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Dad, Dad, Dad....I am more amused than surprised that you're still banging that same old drum, as if you had some sort of influence in shaping policy, shaping election results, or affecting in any way the people think about politics.

      You're just too damn smart to engage in this petty bullshit of attempting to discredit anyone or anything that doesn't lockstep with your personal Weltanschauung.

      Your blog would seem to define "echo-chamber" - aggregations of similar points of view from like-minded people. Not much of it is really original. There's not a whiff of humanity there; just anger, reposts, and snark.

      And please, don't tell me that a six-point victory is an endorsement of Walker's policies. If you do, I shall be forced to ask how you know that the blog report of Burke's "firing" from her dad's company is "absolutely true".

    3. Truth is not "original," Tim. It's been around a long time and doesn't change--unlike the ad-hoc mythology and prevarications of the Left.

  4. How about FIVE sources for the story, Tim? That's a helluvalot more than Bice used in his (failed) attempt to criminalize Walker with the leaked John Doe stuff.

    I know you're a Professional Journalist, Tim. So just tell us all: is 5 sources enough?

    By the way, I do not share your opinion that the Second Amendment was written for duck-hunters and target shooters, nor for self-defense. It was written specifically to prevent another King George-Gummint from arising. The Senator-elect has it right, and you merely squeal about it.

    You're far too smart to regurgitate the KoolAde of the Left, Tim, aren't you?

    1. Dad raises an interesting argument for the 2nd amendment. Every once in awhile someone tries to take that particular argument from theoretical to practical. I don't think it's ever ended well for them.

    2. Let's hope that Senator-elect Ernst can keep her weapons on the rack, safety on and unloaded.

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