Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Character assassination in 30 seconds

Have you seen Bush in 30 Seconds? This contest to create a television ad that "tells the truth about George W. Bush"? Probably so. I found it on Popdex' RSS feed, which means that thousands of people have already seen it and commented on it. I try not to join pile-ons.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized what the appropriate reaction has to be. Take this statement of purpose from their Why we're doing this page:
For the last three years, President Bush's policies have ransacked the environment, put our national security at risk, damaged our economy, and redistributed wealth from the middle class to the very wealthiest Americans.
Now, relax. Take a deep breath. They can't help it, all their friends at Starbucks all say the same thing, they think everybody believes that. You can't accuse them of avoiding disclosure. They've even put their names on it. But take that and add this, from their Rules and registration page: Voter Fund is a so-called section 527 political organization, and is prohibited from expressly advocating for the election or removal of specific candidates for federal elections. In other words, your ads can say lots of different things about George Bush and his administration, but you are not allowed to say that people should vote for or against him.
(I wonder why the "so-called" section 527 political organization?)

It's obvious.

Submit pro-Bush ads to this campaign.

They're obviously don't want them: They're looking for something good and embarrassing they can pay to have run in proximity to the State of the Union address (that's their grand prize). But the nature of the group and the laws that regulate it prevent them from outright banning such statements from the contest.

I mean, look at the judges list. Michael Moore. Donna Brazile. Janeane Garofalo. James Carville. How can you resist the temptation to send these people a 30-second film explaining why supporting the President is the right thing to do...that they have to watch?

And if all I got back for my trouble was an e-mail from Janeane Garofolo explaining how I "don't get it", well, I would treasure that. Wouldn't you?

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