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Oh? You think it's not pro-McCain? Explain why!
(And I'll tell you why you're wrong.)
ADDED, 12 hours later: I guess I owe you an explanation. My reason for calling this a pro-McCain ad is this. First, of course, Paris Hilton is promoting herself, as she always does. She exploited the opportunity that the McCain ad gave her, as she exploits every opportunity. That's very free-market capitalistic of her, but that's not my big reason. McCain's ad presented her as an airhead (for the purpose of suggesting that Obama is also an airhead), so here she is suddenly being very smart. Her ad has her saying something that we are supposed to accept as exactly what a very smart person would say if they weren't limited by constraints of party politics. She presents her answer on oil as a "hybrid" of the 2 candidates' positions, but listen to it! It's McCain's position. She supports off-shore drilling, with appropriate environmental safeguards, as we encourage the development of alternative energy sources.
That's McCain's position! Secret message of the ad: The smart position is McCain's position and not Obama's.
Now, you might want to say that all that funny stuff at the beginning about McCain's age is anti-McCain. No, it's not! It's McCain's position. McCain is constantly making jokes about how old he is. How many times has he said "I'm older than dirt and more scarred than Frankenstein"?
Finally, Hilton is giving the "biggest celebrity" ad another big boost. That ad has already worked, but it was coming to the end of it's life cycle. Hilton jolted it back alive.
FROM THE COMMENTS (that predate my explanation): Ben (The Tiger) said:
How is it pro-McCain?Beldar said:
1. Well... there's no hint of pulling back from her lifestyle. Looking to where she can fly next is not unlike McCain's call for the sound of fifty thousand Harleys.
2. Her position is very much like McCain's -- drill, but not everywhere. (I'd prefer more drilling.)
3. If she really wanted to skewer McCain, she'd do more than make fun of his age in a way that he did himself on SNL.
4. Obama not seriously engaged.
5. Again, she's not backing down from the American life of excess. There will be no scolding of people's life choices. That doesn't fit with the environmentalist movement.
6. She left the door totally open for the McCain riposte -- "Paris Hilton supports drilling! Paris Hilton has a better energy policy than Barack Obama!"
So the ad's objectively pro-McCain.
Was it intentionally pro-McCain?
I suspect so -- I don't think she's dumb.
But then, I'm prejudiced -- I'm a McCain fan.
I don't think the ad's intentions, other than furthering the popularity ambitions of Ms. Hilton, are at all clear.Ben (The Tiger) responds:
Because I already had a view of Obama as (mostly) humorless and of McCain as being willing to poke fun at himself ("older than dirt"), I was inclined to take her comments about the "really old guy" as fond teasing. But honestly, that's me projecting sly wit onto Ms. Hilton that I'm not at all sure she intended.
The ad does McCain palpable damage by its strong suggestion that he opposes conservation. He doesn't. As others have pointed out, what she describes as the "Paris Hilton position" is in fact essentially the McCain position (a combination of prudent development and conservation). In fairness, the McCain campaign itself has muddied these waters by choosing to lampoon Obama for suggesting that people check their tire pressure, which in fact is a perfectly good conservation suggestion, albeit wholly inadequate by itself.
I'm not at all sure why, Prof. A, you think this video cuts so unequivocally in McCain's favor. I think you may be crediting the "average" viewer, or at least large numbers of viewers, with more subtlety and discrimination than they in fact possess, but I eagerly await your promised explanation.
I want to see Althouse's explanation, but I think it's telling that almost all the right-wingers whose reactions I've read think that the spot was charming, whatever else they've thought about Paris Hilton in the past. (And I do, too.)Yeah, and Beldar, the unclarity of Hilton's position is what makes it effective. An openly pro-McCain ad would not be effective. Her above-party-politics pose is .... hot.
Greg Toombs said...
The ad is 90% about McCain (when it's not about Paris) and 10% the 'other guy'/Barack.J Lee said:
1) He's the oldest celebrity in the world
2) like super old
3) dancing a sin & beer in a bucket examples
4) is McCain ready to lead
5) wrinkly, white-haired guy
6) thanks, white-haired dude
7) Paris' energy plan endorses McCain's drilling plus his $300 million battery prize
8) three McCain pictures - none of Barack
It's all about McCain.
When it's not about Paris.
What makes the ad pro-McCain in large part isn't just what it says, but the McCain camp's reaction to the ad.
Watching how the morning network news shows tried to play it today, the spin was "Paris Hilton strikes back at McCain ad", which is where it would have stayed if they had their way. Unfortunately, they were forced to also cover the McCain camp's reply that credited Ms. Hilton with having a better energy policy than Barack Obama. Had the McCain camp responded with the same sort of humorless "whatever" remark the Obama people did, it would have freed up the big media folks to paint this exclusively as a slap-down of Maverick and his original ad.
Now, here's something different, and very smart, from LB-Philadelphia PA (who has only commented once before, back last year):
Has anyone else picked up on the subliminal racism of the "best tan" comment? I mean, Obama is seriously tanned and he's from Hawaii. It's code, I tell you, code!Interesting, but is that pro- or anti-Obama point?