Media matters

by Pete Talbot

Commercial irony

Challenger Dennis McDonald’s latest TV commercial has drawn the ire of Congressman Denny Rehberg. Jhwygirl has a post up on it. Rehberg’s outrage is hypocritical. He and the Republican party having been running negative hit ads for ages.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, though. I hate this kind of campaigning. Rehberg has been worthless as a congressman and that should be enough to get him booted from office. Unfortunately, it’s the personal, not the policy stuff, that commercials focus on these days. I guess that’s what plays best in our ADHD society. It’s a shame.

TV station ownership tends to be conservative but it looks like the stations will continue running the spots despite Rehberg’s lawyers’ threats. There’s money to be made.

A pitiful TV spot

Speaking of spots, this is one of the worst TV commercials I have ever seen. Put the politics behind you for a second, if you can, and just look at the spot aesthetically.

Poor Jan Rehberg. She could be a nice woman, for all I know, but she should kick the ass of whomever conned her into doing this spot for Nels Swandal. Who let those robots on the set?

Bad script, bad delivery, bad composition, bad lighting, bad everything.

This is also supposed to be a nonpartisan position but I guess we know where Nels stands on the issues. We’re looking at Tea Parties during recess.

In this race for Montana Supreme Court Justice, and I hate to judge a candidate by their TV (no pun intended) but Nels’ commercial is painful to watch. Even though I’m voting for Beth Baker — Swandal’s opponent — I’d give her a hard time, too, if she’d produced such a low-rent spot.

A little humor

Let’s end this post with some levity. I used to be pathologically obsessed with yard signs but when you think about it, it is a funny way to advance a candidate. Anyway, here’s the Onion‘s take on it:

Yard Sign With Candidate’s Name On It Electrifies Congressional Race

October 25, 2010 | ISSUE 46•43

The sign, above, which pundits say may have fundamentally altered the American political landscape.

  1. Pogo Possum

    I am still trying to decide how to vote on the Swandal/Baker race Pete but I don’t agree with the “worst commercial” label. It was pretty basic but effective in reaching out to the GOP base which was the intent of the ad. Some candidates lose their message when they try to be too slick.

    My favorites are the ads candidates cut that they think are perfect, and appear excellent to some people, but have little goofs in them that make them laughable to some of their constituents.

    Here is one Schweitzer cut in his last campaign for Gov. I first saw it at the Jersey Lilly in Ingomar and the whole place, full of real cowboys, burst into laughter. I grew up on a ranch and have roped my fair share of cattle and laughed too.

    In response to Schweiter’s key line in the ad “everything I know about government I learned as a rancher”, one of the old ranchers yelled out, “I guess he doesn’t know much about government then.”

    See if you can catch the gaff any self respecting cowboy would spot immediatly.

    • Or cowgirl. This one saw it the first time it played, too.

    • As for the Baker\Swandal race, I think Beth Baker is the choice there.

      It’s a judgeship. It shouldn’t be promising ideology and politics as part of the campaign promise, and yet all Swandal has done was run as a politician.

      Baker’s gotten many endorsements from both sides of the aisle.

      We’ve got enough partisanship – let’s keep it out of the Supreme Court.

  2. Pogo Possum

    My humble apologies jhwyGirl. Yes, definitly, there is a gaff that any “cowgirl” who has spent some time around cattle and horses should spot.

    You seem to know so let’s see if others spot it. We can separate out the real cowgirls/boys from the urban cowboys/girls.

    • I’d say only 1 outta 10 see it. If that.

      I can’t believe it didn’t get bandied about during the actual campaign. Seems someone should have raised a too-doo about it.

  3. I can’t really call McDonald’s ad a mud slinger – its message is true and Rehberg’s drinking problem, if you ask me, is a serious character flaw for an elected representative..yet alone a congressional rep.

    Rehberg was drunk in that boat – and placed his employee – a paid congressional staffer – in jeopardy of life by the choices Rehberg made that night. Choices that were likely clouded by his drinking. Not only that, his staffer Dustin Frost is said to have collected workman’s comp for the disaster having been work-related.

    If he treats his employee that way, just think of what he thinks of us taxpayers.

    I’ve been critical of McDonald’s campaign for its critical focus – if not here on my microblogging – but Rehberg makes it impossible for Montanan’s to see any real campaign. And really, this should be an outcry of blogs of both sides and newspapers and weeklies.

    Rehberg won’t engage in real debate. He lauds his “listening sessions,” but don’t voters deserve to see him engage in debate with his opponent?

    If I were McDonald, I’d be hounding Reihberg on his record – he’s been in Washington since the surplus was handed to him and Bush Co back in 2001.

    He’s voted against veterans countless times.

    He loved earmarks until just before this current election season – and while he proudly declares that he didn’t vote for the stimulus package – the one that gave 95% of American taxpayers a tax break – he still loves to head for photo-ops (here in Missoula I recall a Pov function) with the ceremonial checks to take credit for the money.

    Rehberg’s a hypocrite, a drunk, and a lazy legislator to top it off. He’s done little more than contribute to this huge national deficit and name a few buildings.

    Voting for him represents insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

  1. 1 Can’t Stop Till You Get Enough… of Dennis Rehberg « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] work and no play makes Dennis Rehberg a drunk dull […]

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