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Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Sullivan opens it:
So here's a thought. Couldn't we take some of that power away from the pros - especially with negative advertizing - by pre-empting and defusing them? What I'm thinking of is a Dish Youtube contest to come up with the least fair, most effective negative ads for both sides. The technology is widely available for making your own 30-second negative spots, and it's good therapy. So let's flood the zone. I know it sounds cynical, but in fact, it's the opposite. If we can put out the most damning attacks on Obama and McCain we can, it could help dilute the nasty noise from the party establishments, expose the mechanisms of smears and take the wind out of the sails of the pros.

The idea is not to produce crude and ugly smears or lies.

The content must be factually accurate (even if horribly misleading) and the images for real. And if you want to play the race or "elitist" or emasculating card against Obama or the age or temper or war-monger card against McCain, it has to be done so that there's an official "issues-based" defense of the ad, even though it's transparently a smear of sorts. By doing this, we could even help expose the way in which this cynical enterprise is constructed by the pros.

Or you could end up with a bunch of mean-spirited, sarcastic hackery that ends up going viral and making things worse. It's not about overestimating the intelligence of the American voter - it's about encouraging a bunch of Dr. Frankensteins who may not understand what monsters they are creating. You can jump in and fight the pigs, but you'll end up dirty no matter what.

Look, November 4 is all that matters. Get Obama elected, and do it fairly, with class. Such a cynical (yes, Andrew) exercise doesn't help.

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