“Ads Going Negative, Again,” reads a headline on FOX9, and the story author, Jeff Goldberg, isn’t talking about advertisements for World of Wireless (which, less face it, have always been a little negative.) No, it’s political ads. So let’s look at some.
There’s the anti-gay marriage ad in support of GOP candidate Tom Emmer, produced by the Minnesota Family Council and the National Organization for Marriage, which can be viewed here, and which we have detailed before. WCCO’s Pat Kessler does a Reality Check on the ad, and finds it to involve at least one EXAGGERATION, as he puts it, in that it suggests that making gay marriage legal in Massachusetts led to teaching first- and second-graders about gay marriage. He also finds the ad MISLEADING, in that it makes what the Martin Luther King Center says is an unauthorized use of the image of the former civil rights leader.
MinnPost’s Doug Grow posts and discusses a video about IP candidate Tom Horner. This ad from the DFL appears to be an attempt to peel liberal voters away from Horner by painting him as a Republican, which doesn’t seem to have been too hard a task. Over the strains of The Who’s “Who Are You,” they show a video of Horner identifying his political philosophy as being consistent with Republicanism. This doesn’t seem to be an especially negative ad, though, unless you view calling somebody a Republican as negative.
Tarryl Clark offers up a much tougher video in her race against Rep. Michele Bachmann, which can also be viewed on MinnPost. The ads shows a senior and then insists Bachmann called her an addict, as she wants to wean people off Social Security. “If Michele Bachmann wants to wean you off Social Security,” a scornful female voice says, “she sure can’t be trusted to protect it.” Ouch!
Bachmann has her own ad, which isn’t negative, unless you think phrases such as “the Bush Wall Street bailout, the Obama stimulus packages and the Pelosi spending sprees” are negative. Her ad can be seen on Minnesota Independent with additional quotes from the congreswoman. Bachmann’s case: Government can’t create jobs, small businesses create jobs, and they do so best with the least interference from government.
DFL candidate Mark Dayton offers up an ad on education, which can be viewed here, that features a worried mother earnestly complaining that Emmer would slash school funding. “Doesn’t Emmer know that good schools are the key to creating jobs and rebuilding our economy,” she asks. As MinnPost’s Joe Kimball points out, the Tom Emmer campaign has responded by calling the ad a “whopper.” According to them, Emmer plans to increase “state spending by $500 million.” They also complain that Dayton hasn’t yet explained how he will pay for his plan to increase funding for schools, although, to be fair, neither has Emmer. Ouch!
Perhaps the oddest video of late is a five-and-a-half-minute gangsta rap video released by Minnesota Majority that equates Obama to Al Capone, which can be viewed on City Pages. For some reason, the video also includes repeated images of pole dancers. From what we can tell, the rapper, who calls himself The Infidel, is wearing a plastic mobster fedora, which undermines the video’s otherwise superlative production values.
It’s not a campaign ad, but Tim Pawlenty has a trailer for his forthcoming book, “Courage to Stand,” up on YouTube. The video itself should be called “Courage to Sit in an Overstuffed Leather Chair in front of a Lot of Books,” as that’s what he does, talking about life-lessons he’s learned. Well, it’s good to get away from the endless campaigning … oh wait, the video’s own description starts out with the words “Long before he was considered a top prospective presidential candidate for 2012 …” Seeing how he has been doing in straw polls, we think it’s only fair to point out that at this moment, he’s still not considered a top prospective presidential candidate. Perhaps the book will change that, unless, of course, it is mistaken for the political writings of Chinese prisoner Wei Jingsheng.
In arts: Euan Kerr of Minnesota Public Radio previews “The Great Game: Afghanistan” by the Tricycle Theater, which will be coming to the Guthrie soon. The play is notable for several reasons. Firstly, it tackles an awful lot of history, detailing the turbulent last century of Afghanistan. Secondly, it was written by a variety of playwrights, each tackling a different element of the story. Thirdly, it’s seven-and-a-half hours long, and can either be viewed over the course of three nights or in one marathon session. Ouch!
In sports: “Another starter lays another egg,” the Pioneer Press writes, complaining about the Twins’ loss to the Royals, and especially about pitcher Nick Blackburn. Sportswriters seem to have broken themselves of their notorious habit of using the word “literally” when they mean “figuratively,” and it’s sort of a pity, as it always produced some entertaining imagery. This story, as an example, could have greatly been enlivened by suggesting that Blackburn was capable of expelling a zygote in a hard shell.