Saturday, August 21, 2004

Lies and the Lying Liars . . . .

So, I checked out the new ad - you can google it - and it's brilliantly done, I'll give them that. The SF Chron looks at the issues today - citing the White House's "mocking" Kerry again, this time for "losing his cool."

Neener neener neener! Oooh, little war hero all mad about the other war heroes being mean? Haha - cry, little whiny-head!

Charming.

Ladies and gentlemen, your American leadership.

As brilliant as the ad, the group is, naturally, handing it out to the news before the it begins running on airtime they've actually purchased. We call this "earned media." (Go ahead, take a moment to ponder the use of "earned" in this case.)

On the issue in question: Let me get this straight, we have a president who had his daddy call in a favor so he could avoid actual danger while preserving the appearance of service. Then we have a candidate who went to war voluntarily, saw some bad shit, and won some medals.

Even phoblog readers have succumbed to the insidious message "well, fine then, so Kerry can show that we lied and were wrong about 98% of our allegations - But What About That Last 2%? Huh? Huh? What about that?" It's almost enough to make a girl start learning the words to "Oh Canada."

This new ad features POWs angry about Kerry's post-'Nam allegations of war crimes. One particularly heavy charge is that Kerry gave "The Enemy" for free what POWs were tortured to pry out of them: confessions of atrocities.

I couldn't help but think how much more effective these ads would've been pre-Abu Ghraib. Turns out Americans are capable of bad shit too because they are - get this - human. And war is hell. (Remember that book? Think Bush has read it? I don't think so either.)

Did the POWs testifying in the ad do anything untoward. Probably not. Were they paying for the sins of others and the sins never committed. Definitely. Does it make Kerry's words categorically false? Probably not. This whole conflict makes me feel like I'm at an acquaintance’s dinner party and the parents just announced they're getting a divorce. You knew there was some bad mojo there. You kinda new who was doing something wrong and no one was blameless. You kinda knew they'd have some crap to work out for the rest of their lives. But you just don't want to be help captive at the dinner table while these two hash things out in all its ugly, hurtful glory.

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