August 6, 2008

ISN'T THE COMPARISON KIND OF RACIST?

Is there sinister subtext in McCain ads? (MICHAEL MOYNIHAN, 8/6/08, Politico)

[I]t is with a certain amount of puzzlement that many observers have watched the issue of race injected into the campaign. Last week, after the McCain team released two seemingly innocuous, though pointed, advertisements — one accusing their opponent of vapidity, the other of messianism — a steady stream of mainstream, Obama-friendly commentators and bloggers cried foul. In a video titled “Celeb,” McCain juxtaposed Obama with famous paparazzi quarry Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. To most, the message was clear, if a little ham-handed: Like Hilton and Spears, Obama is famous for being famous; he's more flash than substance.

But was there a deeper message? In the past week and a half, the liberal blogosphere has become a virtual Bletchley Park of racial cryptographers teasing out the sinister motives and subtexts of McCain’s campaign advertising.

In a web-only column, The New York Times editorial page charged that the ad was a “racially tinged attack” like the one that “ran against Harold Ford, a black candidate for Senate in Tennessee in 2006. That assault, too, began with videos juxtaposing Mr. Ford with young, white women." The American Prospect’s Ezra Klein huffed that the McCain campaign is “running crypto-racist ads.” Bill Press, former co-host of CNN's Crossfire, proclaimed that the “Celeb” spot was "deliberately and deceptively racist." Polk Award-winning blogger Josh Marshall wrote that “the McCain campaign is now pushing the caricature of Obama as a uppity young black man whose presumptuousness is displayed not only in taking on airs above his station but also in a taste for young white women."

The online hyperventilation quickly passed through to the Sunday chat show circuit. If this wasn’t dog-whistle politics, said Democratic strategist Donna Brazile on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," then “why not use Denzel Washington or Bono?”


Because they're gifted artists not mere celebrities? Mr. Washington, for instance, might be the finest living male actor in the world today. Barrack Obama barely makes the top 100 legislators in the current Senate.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 6, 2008 6:12 PM

Obama runs a self-defeating campaign portraying himself as a wimpy metro-sexual who appeals to European socialists and the prepubescent, and the Left thinks the McCain campaign wants to re-image Mr. O as a stud? What are they smoking?

Posted by: Steve at August 6, 2008 8:20 PM

Denzel is the finest living actor OJ wants to be the prison bitc.... err.... share a cell with....

Posted by: Benny at August 6, 2008 9:51 PM

Not menthols.

Posted by: oj at August 7, 2008 7:54 AM
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