Friday, August 19, 2011

Have you ever had sex with Rick Perry — the wishful ad, ad hominem

Next question.
But really, are we okay with this? An actual newspaper (the Austin Chronicle) is running this full page ad  next week?
This seems like an awful lot of money to spend on an ad likely to result in a large number of people saying, “No!” emphatically and continuing with their days, but then again, perhaps this lack of acumen is why I am not the president of CASH. And I’m not sure why he chose the “Star Wars” font. Nothing says effective ad-making like “an ad (hominem) hoping to find someone who has had sex with Rick Perry, written in a “Star Wars” font, that implies offensive things about Hillary Clinton’s footwear.”
It’s not even a personal attack. It’s an ad hoping it can make a personal attack later. Is this really where we are?
“Gee,” this ad says. “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a scandal in Rick Perry’s personal life? Get on that, facts.”
“Rick Perry Is A Family Values Hypocrite*” the ad says. *We still have no facts to support this claim.
Are we okay with this? We shouldn’t be.
“There is nothing worse than someone who believes something fervently for no reason and then sits there waiting for the facts to catch up!” people say, shaking their fist at Rick Perry’s attitudes about the Fed and the climate.
Well, this is exactly the same thing.
“I dislike Rick Perry, so he must be a hypocrite!” No. If people with whom we disagreed were always hypocrites, the world would be a simpler and far more terrifying place.
What bothers me most about this wishful ad hominem ad is that it opens the floodgates to new ads. Here are a couple I came up with earlier.

Look, it’s one thing to make ad hominem attacks. And slander exists — just think of all those robocalls. But it’s only common courtesy to wait for the facts to catch up with you, especially in print.
At least it used to be.

Posted at the Washington Post - Postopinions

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