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It’s come to this: NBC analyzes Marco Rubio’s logo

This may be a new low in political journalism.

Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida speaking at a campaign stop in Cleveland, Ohio, on August 5.
REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

Apologies in advance for getting on my high horse.

I suppose it’s a lot to ask of voters to be substantive, especially in the age we live in.

The stakes seem particularly high at the moment, but maybe they always seem that way.

Still, for political journalism to justify its existence, it has to give some priority to providing facts and substantive arguments based on those facts to readers and viewers in the faint hope that they will take it into account in exercising their franchise. And by “franchise” I mean their vote, not their decision on acquiring a fast-food location.

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The ridiculous poll question about which candidate you would rather have a beer with has long stood in my mind as a leading example of dumbing it down. Very few of us are going to get to have a beer with the next president, and even if we were it would be more important to care about what kind of job he or she was doing in the Oval Office than whether he or she would be a good companion over a brewski.

But this may be a new low: NBC got Sagi Haviv, an “award-winning designer” at a “brand identity firm,” to analyze, on camera and for your edification, the logo of the Marco Rubio campaign.

Haviv thinks the typeface, spacing and coloring of the letters is “very smart and very nice” and “appropriate to how [Rubio] wants to present himself.” But Haviv pronounces that the use of a small map of the United States as the dot on the “i” in Rubio is “horrible” because “a logo has to be focused.” And then he ups his reaction (still to the map as the dot of the “i”) as “absolutely horrendous” because it implies that the name “Marco Rubio” is 10 times more important than the “tiny” United States of America “and that’s the wrong message.”

At  least Trump’s latest big idea was a policy proposal. Here’s the NBC/Haviv video. It’s only a minute and a half, although it’s preceded by a short ad for something (I forget what).