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.