The McCain camp released an official smear ad yesterday simply entitled, “Celeb,” which juxtaposes Senator Obama with clips of Britney Spears (circa 1999) and Paris Hilton, supposedly highlighting Obama’s lack of substance despite his undeniable star power.
Frankly, we find the ad to be pretty embarrassing. It’s simply not good–the video quality is terrible, the editing shoddy, the voice-over nearly comical, the celebutard footage ineffective. And hey, we’re proud of the GOP for trying to get jiggy with thems newfangled concepts of viral interwebs marketing and all, but uh, they’re probably gonna have to do better than that.
Still, the piece has gotten a lot of attention, and in the process drawn quite a bit of controversy. One take in particular caught our eye via Political Punch–liberal blogger Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo condemned McCain’s attacks yesterday but focused on one specific extrapolation we hadn’t even thought of:
“…the McCain campaign is now pushing the caricature of Obama as a uppity young black man whose presumptuousness is displayed not only in taking on airs above his station but also in a taste for young white women.”
Um… I’m not proud of McCain’s decision to resort to attack ads, but I have to say that in watching “Celeb” about 25 times over, I witnessed Obama being criticized for being all bark and no bite, being lauded for non-achievements, being celebrated for simply being a celebrity. But the thought never once struck me that Obama was being defamed with the insinuation that he likes to dabble in “young white women.”
What made us even go there? Obama, by all accounts, is a happily married man with a beautiful wife. And the footage in “Celeb” simply references the two most useless (yet most famous) stars of this decade. So I wonder how the point of lust was even dragged into the dialogue. Does a picture of a white woman and a black man instantly connote sexuality? Do we assume that even if black man isn’t leering over taut blondes, he must be denying the fact that he wants to? Do we always refer to people this way, by color?
My god, is this really 2008? I feel like I’m in a fucking time warp.
I also feel like I just spoke to someone at a dinner party that said, “I just love Black people. They’re such wonderful musicians and athletes.”
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