Media Archive:

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Ridiculous Kerry Flap

Posted by James L.

So John Kerry stuck his foot in his mouth yesterday, botching a joke intended as an insult against the President. And now the GOP, desperate with the clock ticking down and trailing a few dozen points on the scoreboard, is despicably frothing at the mouth, accusing Kerry of slandering America's troops. They know better--they know that Kerry botched a joke, so they're doing all they can to keep the attention on him, rather than Bush's botching of an entire war.

If the GOP wants to play that game, fine. Remember this nugget, from an August 2004 Bush speech?

Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

Everyone had a big laugh over Bush's verbal gaffe two years ago. Did you see John Kerry and the Democratic Party issuing press releases calling on Bush to cease his treasonous war against the citizens of the United States of America? No, because to do so would be completely ridiculous. Just as ridiculous as the sanctimonious, dishonest drivel that Tony Snow and George Bush are trying to feed into the media narrative tonight.

No one took Bush's verbal stumble seriously in August 2004. And by the same measure, no one should hold Kerry's stumble to a higher standard.

Posted at 06:18 PM in 2006 Elections, Media | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Open Thread: What's Your Favorite Ad This Year?

Posted by James L.

I may as well fess up: I'm an ad junkie. Few things excite me more in this post-Labor Day period than watching campaigns unveil their new ads. To be sure, there's a lot of crap out there, but as the Connecticut Senate primary showed, the 30 second TV spot still has the power to turn a seemingly futile race on its head.

Today saw the release of two powerful ads. First was this gripping Ned Lamont ad--his first new ad on the air since his primary win:

The other was this remarkable web ad for Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign in NY-20 against thuggish Republican incumbent John Sweeney. Sweeney's campaign has produced some truly vile campaign ads targeting Gillibrand and her family, lobbing just about every epithet at her from "war profiteer" to "America hater" (the latter is not his exact phrasing, but that's the gist of it). Gillibrand's team have responded with this web ad featuring Academy Award nominee David Straithairn (a NY-20 resident and a concerned citizen himself), who here is reprising his role as Edward R. Murrow from Goodnight & Goodluck, this time targeting Sweeney instead of McCarthy. (MyDD has more here.) Another gripping and surprising ad that should garner Gillibrand some positive buzz.

Some of my other favorite ads this year have been for Jon Tester (Creating a Buzz), Dan Maffei (Not Listening), and, while he may not be my favorite candidate of the cycle, pretty much everything put out by Harold Ford, Jr. has been very sharp.

How about you? Have you seen any good ads that have slipped past the national blog radar? What's your favorite ad this year? Please post a link to your favorite ad in the comments. YouTube links are preferred for the fast loading times and ease of use for everybody. If your favorite ad is not on YouTube, and you have the means to do so, please be proactive and upload it to YouTube for the campaign's benefit. If any campaign has not thrown up their TV or web-only video on YouTube, they're clearly behind the curve in terms of message distribution in the internet age.

Update: I'm liking Sherrod Brown's new ad on trade, too.

Posted at 04:54 PM in 2006 Elections, Media | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

ATLA Throws Down in Five House Races

Posted by DavidNYC

From the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (via an e-mail):

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) today began running television and radio ads in four congressional districts: IN-02 (Rep. Chris Chocola), NC-11 (Rep. Charles Taylor), NM-01 (Rep. Heather Wilson), OH-15 (Rep. Deborah Pryce). Additional ads will begin airing on Wednesday in PA-10 (Rep. Don Sherwood).

The ads urge constituents to contact their members of Congress, who have voted to put corporate profits of the oil, gas and pharmaceutical industries before the safety and well-being of the public, and tell them to do the right thing when taking future votes.


The total ad buy is more than $500,000.

Of course, I'm sure the various GOP incumbents will denounce their counterparts as being in the pockets of greedy trial lawyers, etc. But the fact is, these ads will be on the air for a good long while - at best, each Republican campaign can muster a single press release's worth of indignation out of this. Of course, the Club for Growth will probably be quick to respond, but for now, I'm just glad that ATLA is ponying up.

And I'm also happy that they've picked PA-10. That might be the single cheapest media market of all of our major pick-up opportunities. (Rothenberg, by the way, just moved this race into his "Tossup/Tilt Republican" category.) ATLA should be able to flood the airwaves here. Let's hope it helps.

P.S. You can see & hear the ads here.

Posted at 08:04 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Media | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, August 25, 2006

NY-20: Sweeney Hires Celeb Lawyer to Harass TV Stations

Posted by DavidNYC

Who knew that Rep. John Sweeney was such a WATB? From the Albany Times-Union blog:

U.S. Rep. John Sweeney has gotten one of the region’s best known lawyers to ask TV stations to pull a brutal MoveOn.Org ad against the congressman.

The letter comes after Sweeney’s campaign spokeswoman, Maureen O’Brien Donovan, was apparently unsuccessful in trying to persuade the stations to stop airing the “red handed” ad.


Both ads, however, use the “caught red-handed'’ theme, which, [Stewart] Jones wrote, falsely implies Sweeney has done something illegal.

Perfect WATB behavior: When your press flack can't whine loudly enough, you call in the high-priced lawyers to whine a little louder. Of course, this joke definition of the word "red-handed" doesn't meet the laugh test - unless you think little kids who get caught with their hands in the cookie jar are going to jail.

Undoubtedly, the in-house counsel for these various TV stations realize any defamation claim by Sweeney is almost certainly frivolous. It's very hard to defame a public official under American law. The issue, though, is that a station might have to spend a lot of money getting such a case dismissed. So when the bean-counters do a cost-benefit analysis, they all-too-often decide they're better off not running the ads.

Which is why it's so important that we express our support for MoveOn and the TV stations. In a key way, this really is about freedom of speech. Yes, the stations are private companies - but they are broadcasting on public aiwaves (owned by you and me), at the public's sufferance. They control access to a public commons, and it's vital that they let all voices be heard.

And besides, if John Sweeney (and Randy Kuhl and Charlie Bass) don't like MoveOn's speech, the classic response is always to engage in more speech of your own. Curtailing the speech of others is just un-American.

So if you are in NY-20, you should be writing letters to the editor, in support of MoveOn and the stations and opposing Sweeney. You should also call and write to the stations (saying "attaboy!"), and also call and write to the Sweeney campaign (telling them to knock it off). The relevant stations are:

CBS 6 Albany (WRGB)



Fox 23 News (WXXA)

Capital News 9

Also, definitely let the Albany-Times Union know how you feel - either via an LTE or in the comments of the above-linked blog post (or both). As always, be civil and keep it short - you're much more likely to get heard that way.

Posted at 02:04 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Media, New York | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Zombie Myths Never Die!

Posted by DavidNYC

Chris Cillizza, who ought to know better, repeats the zombie myth about the netroots that just won't die:

But no candidate backed by the netroots has actually won....

Five words: Ben Chandler and Stephanie Herseth. Do you know what we call those two today?

Congressman and Congresswoman.

In Chandler's race in particular, the netroots - which were a lot smaller back then, and weren't even called the netroots - played a crucial role. Mark Nicholas (publisher of the BluegrassReport and Chandler's campaign manager), turned a $2,000 investment into $80,000 practically overnight. That cash provided a vital boost to the Chandler campaign in its final weeks.

And if you want a truly legit piece of evidence that netroots folks really cared about this race, check out this cached blast from the past from Chandler's old site:

Calpundit add $.15
Daily Kos add $.01 add $.13
Eschaton add $.18
The Hamster add $.04
Instapundit add $.03 add $.07
Political Wire add $.09
Seeing the Forest add $.02
Talk Left add $.11
Talking Points Memo add $.22
Yellow Dog Blog add $.36

You'd be forgiven if the above list doesn't make any sense to you. But in the old, pre-ActBlue days, the easiest way to make sure your blog got "credit" for driving donations was to have your readers append a certain amount of cents to every donation. $20.01, you know it's from Kos. $20.22, it's from Talking Points Memo, and so on. The campaign started paying attention to these extra cents because bloggers asked them to - in other words, bloggers (and donors) cared about this race. They felt invested in it. They cared about the outcome. They wanted Chandler to win, and were extremely excited when he did.

The blogosphere did not single-handedly elect Ben Chandler - no one is making such grandiose claims. But Cillizza talks about candidates "backed by the netroots" (emphasis added). "Backed" is the key word there. There's no question at all that the netroots backed Ben Chandler - many, many blogs did. Some 1,600 contributors gave during that stretch run. We most certainly - and rightly - claim Ben Chandler as one of our own.

I expect right-wing blogs to mock "0 for 19" Kos - they have no respect for the truth. But I was disappointed when William Beutler fell for the same myth. And I'm unhappy that Chris Cillizza decided to repeat it as well. Ordinarily, I might send a short e-mail pointing out a mistake like this to the author. But the problem here is that this myth has been repeated so damn often it's acquired the same level of truthiness that "Gore invented the Internet" has - hence I felt the need to do some very public myth-busting.

UPDATE: Chris Cillizza just posted a piece acknowledging the netroots' role in the Herseth and Chandler victories. I'm very glad that he did. Again I say, while I did take a bit of a dig at Cillizza, I wrote this post to correct the "public record" on this issue. Blog posts tend to rank higher in Google, and the SSP is also carried by Google News. In other words, I wanted to make sure this information would be easily accessible to those looking for it. Hopefully the addition of Cillizza's newest post will help stamp out this zombie myth once and for all.

Posted at 09:48 PM in Media | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Study in Contrasts

Posted by DavidNYC

One man is a governor whose entire career revolves around his ties to lobbyists - in fact, he was one himself. The other man is a gubernatorial aspirant, with as clean a record as they come, and a history of fighting corruption.

One man gets praise from the New York Times. The other is knocked. Care to guess which is which?

But wait, it gets even better: The ex-lobbyist governor is roundly praised for his lobbying connections. The aspiring governor, meanwhile, is attacked for accepting a whopping three donations from lobbyists.

Would it help if I told you that the first guy is a Republican, while the second guy is a Democrat? I thought it might.

Posted at 11:00 PM in Media | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

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