I’ve been watching CNN today for coverage of the storm, since a website can’t possibly help me understand the impact of the storm like a reporter standing in a foot of water and trying to shout over the wind can. It hasn’t taken long to be reminded why I stopped watching CNN, though: they’ll take advertising from anybody, apparently.
For starters, there’s this classic from 2010, paid for by Racist Citizens Against Accurate Information:
A mother-effing talking panda gives a pretty good overview of why the ad is stupid, and plenty of people have already complained about the ad in the two years since it was unleashed. But even if you were to ignore the fact that yes, the US still owns the bulk of its own debt, how could this scare tactic ad possibly make sense?
Let’s cut taxes to reduce the deficit, which will totally work, because of reasons. And the best way to avoid being under the grip of the evil Chinese is to reduce government spending and regulation, and instead turn essential services over to the private sector. Because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that American businesses absolutely hate dealing with China, what with their billions of potential customers in a growing economy, and their enormous work force that will tolerate worse working conditions than the US at a fraction of the cost of American employees.
There are also ads from billionaire Thomas Peterffy, which run every five minutes. (And to be fair, in front of every other YouTube video, so there’s no escaping it).
Peterffy has been pissed ever since Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous was cancelled, and popular sentiment has turned away from thinking that super-rich people were totally the coolest. No, the big thing in America now is “bad-mouthing success.” He wants to dispel the notion that the rich spend their money frivolously and will stop at nothing to preserve their wealth. He wants people to understand that the rich encourage people to strive for something better, and they create jobs and opportunities for the poor.
So he spent millions of dollars to put 1-minute ads all over TV and YouTube in which he rambles about how socialism is bad. And he didn’t even hire a native English speaker to do the voice-over.
I’ve had to listen as otherwise intelligent people harangue me about the perils of socialism, as if they had any notion of what actual socialism is like. I’ve had to hear people insist that they’re socially progressive, but the economy is what’s most important, and somehow the GOP is about being fiscally conservative, even though that hasn’t been true in decades. (Assuming it ever was).
And of course, now as a huge storm is ravaging the east coast, we’re all being reminded of yet another of the 1000s of ways that the ridiculous state of the Republican platform simply makes no sense — Romney’s suggestion to privatize disaster relief, because to do otherwise would be “immoral.” And still, at least half the country is going to vote for these clowns, based either on claims that wouldn’t make sense even if they were part of a coherent plan; or even worse, based on the idea that there’s no appreciable difference between the two parties.
It’s making me wonder if maybe the storms aren’t God’s vengeance on the Gays, but God’s vengeance on people who refuse to think.