Missy Smith, campaign ads, and reaching the bottom of the barrel
So, recently, this lady has been clogging DC airwaves with the worst ads. We saw them a few times over the weekend. Missy Smith’s been paying money to show aborted fetuses in as disgusting a light as possible, during daytime hours. (Click here if you’re curious.) And because she’s in cahoots with Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, she knew that she legally could force the TV stations to show them. In fact, she ran for Congress in DC (where she’s destined to lose, because Eleanor Holmes Norton is very popular) specifically to run these ads on television. The stations have had to put lengthy, 15-second warnings in front of the ads. And they’ve forced us to consider a few things:
- Culture wars not over In the age of Obama, despite all the negative energy that’s been popping up, one positive of it is that certain social movements (specifically gay rights) have been looking more and more likely to go mainstream. But as this ad proves, certain wedge issues won’t go away quite that easily.
- Playing to our divisions Jon Stewart’s twelve-minute rant at the very end of yesterday’s “Rally To Restore Sanity” was pretty much made for people like Smith and ads like this one. Most people aren’t like Smith, but people like Smith use stunts like these to dominate our dialogue. Don’t let these stunts define us, fellow Americans.
- The bar has lowered In a political advertising season that started with Demon Sheep and has only gotten worse from there (barring Dale Peterson), it makes sense that we end it with an ad that literally shows aborted fetuses during daytime television. Those earlier ads set the stage for us to hit bottom. Now, here we are. source