In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson ran the now-infamous political TV ad,
"Peace, Little Girl," which equated a vote for GOP candidate Barry Goldwater
with dropping a nuke on a toddler. Since then, campaign shit-slinging
in the nation's living rooms has been as steeped in the American - and
presidential - tradition as unprotected anal sex in the Oval Office.
So it all seems a bit tedious when pundits and plebes alike appear on our
lamenting the use of the incredibly edifying, entertaining, and effective
mode of communication known as the negative ad. Let's face it: If the
billion dollars spent this campaign season on TV ads were meant for
valentines, we'd be voting in February and the ballots would have little
pictures of Snoopy on them.
Indeed, if we're to perform any useful surgery on this body politic, we're
going to have to get used to seeing a little blood - and while we might
wince a little, we applaud those with the guts to make the first cut. But as
most connoisseurs of the art know by now, the most scathing
ads are the ones kept under both toxic shield and lock-and-key in the vaults
of media gurus: ads that see the light of day only at the butt-end of the
closest races, silver bullets only a very few candidates have the
cojones to fire on the air. These scathode
trotted out just over the weekend before an election, and lost amid the
tumult of Tuesday breathlessness. They almost never get noticed by the
short-attention-span ignoramuses who make careers out of noticing such media
Until now, that is.