Post #184 • January 7, 2004, 7:27 AM
an ad contest that's intended to bring new talent and new messages into the world of mainstream political advertising. We're looking for the ad that best explains what this President and his policies are really about -- in only 30 seconds.
The only eligibility requirements were that participants had to be US citizens or residents, and over the age of 15.
We're NOT looking for the same old slick political ads from Washington media consultants. Instead, we're looking for really creative ads that will engage and enlighten viewers and help them understand the truth about George Bush.
They found them, in what I think is a testament to popular creativity and visual acuity. Even the lowest-budget ones are hard-hitting. One will be selected as a winner on January 12 by a celebrity panel that includes Moby, Michael Moore, and Janeane Garofalo.
Yesterday morning I got an e-mail from MoveOn.org:
MoveOn.org has come under attack from the Republican National Committee (RNC), which has launched a campaign of malicious misinformation to divert attention from the creativity and power of the Bush in 30 Seconds contest. ...
RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie launched the attack on "Fox News Sunday," and the RNC followed it with press releases and calls to reporters. The charges centered on two ads posted on the Bush in 30 Seconds website which compared President Bush's tactis with those of Adolf Hitler. Mr. Gillespie repeatedly referred to the ads as 'the MoveOn ad' or 'MoveOn's ad,' implying that we had sponsored or perhaps even commissioned the ad. And he also claimed that we might spend $7 million to run it on TV.
This is a lie. MoveOn.org hasn't sponsored such an ad, and we never would -- we regret the appearance of these ads on the Bush In 30 Seconds site. The two ads in question are from more than a thousand posted by members of the public, and they were voted on by MoveOn members through December 31st. Obviously the few hundred of you who viewed these ads agreed that they were not worthy of further broadcast or recognition, because they got low ratings. Yesterday we announced the 15 finalists -- all good, hard-hitting and fair appraisals of the Bush record, in the judgment of the members and others who rated them. The two offending ads can only be found one place now -- on the RNC website!
...Not only is the RNC campaign deceptive, it's also totally disingenuous. Yesterday, the New York Post ran a long opinion column focusing exclusively on how much Presidential Candidate Howard Dean resembles Hitler, even calling him "Herr Howie." Of course, the RNC hasn't issued a condemnation of that. When close RNC ally Grover Norquist repeatedly compared taxing the wealthy with the Holocaust in an interview on NPR, the RNC was muted. And in 2002, the RNC and its allies were silent when supporters of President Bush actually aired TV ads morphing the face of Senator Max Cleland, a triple amputee as a result of wounds sustained in Vietnam, into Osama bin Laden. Given such a transparently partisan track record, the RNC's moral outrage doesn't mean a whole lot.
So here it is: the the Bush in 30 Seconds Content. Check out the ads, and when November comes around, you know what to do. I feel few political sympathies, and for whatever reason have stronger opinions about art than politics. There is one issue about which I feel no equivocation, however: lying. I am opposed.