Monday, October 04, 2010

765 Don't Buy This!

765

Here's the only form of advertising where they don't tell you who or what they're selling. It's the near anonymous political ad disguised as a "newsletter." The only news you get is how bad the other guy is. They don't even tell you who they're backing just who they don't want you to back. Amazing. Can you see the Generals using this?

Here's a anonymous "Newsletter" from GM: Headline: "Ford Sucks." Or GE: "Be careful when buying Sylvania light bulbs. They're glass, doncha know, and could break. Or General Tire (which in Mexico is known as "General Popo"): "Careful of those Goodyears, folks. They spend to much time fiddling with blimps to make a decent tire."

Stuff like that is not going to happen in the real world. But in the grimy, germ infested world of politics, anything goes. Sometimes it's slimy (as in some of the racist anti-Obama stuff that emerged from under rocks during the 2008 campaign.) But usually it comes from something more civil and unofficially Republican. It reads like actual news. And sometimes, it works.

We're all used to ads that don't tell us a price. We're all used to ads where they want us to buy something and get something else "free" (just pay the shipping and handling.) We're all used to not getting the whole picture until we put our money down and take our hand off the bills. But this latest wrinkle comes right out of the Three Card Monte School of Life. Find the candidate as the cards are shuffled.

If we're at all interested, of course, we know what they want. So now, they can insult our intelligence while advertising... no one. But this is not as stupid as it sounds. Eventually, it's going to create more turned off, sit-on-your-hands voters who look at this and say "who needs this?" And what we sure don't need in this country is more turned off, sit-on-your-hands voters.

After some detective work, we've found the "newsletter" comes from the state legislature's Republican caucus or some such. But that's in print so fine and so buried, it would challenge Holmes, and likely won't reach the eyes, let alone the brains of the recipients.


Shrapnel:

--Latest from the political rumor mill: Mike Bloomberg to be appointed Treasury Secretary. Impossible, unless they move Treasury to where he already has a house. Or where he wants one.

--Sure hope those tickets for your European vacation are refundable now that the State Department has issued a warning to travelers that's only one notch below "don't go." If you do go, says State, take extra precautions. Just make sure they meet our 22-million security requirements, like for bottle sizes, shoe bombs and that widely known weapon of mass destruction: tooth paste.

--Happy Birthdays this week: Charles A. Richards of Austin TX, a close relative; Jill A. Steers of London, Ontario, a close relative. Also Steve Capus President, of NBC News and Ellis Henican, the hardest working guy in journalism.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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