Musings —06.29.2015 01:44 PM—
There has been a ton of commentary about what the ad is. There hasn’t been a lot of commentary about what it isn’t.
- Proprietary: The CBC has tried to claim it is, but the CBC is mistaken. There is no copyright in news. Geist slices and dices Mother Corp., here: “The CBC is simply wrong. Its guiding principle is wrong and its attempt to use copyright to take down an offensive advertisement is wrong.”
- Ubiquitous: I don’t know about you, but the only place I have actually seen that ad is online. All the stories say that – and the 45-second length of the spot makes me wonder if it can be effectively broadcast, too. There’s an excellent chance, therefore, it’s a classic political bait-and-switch – drive some critical attention to a story that is unhelpful to your opponent, but do it without spending a cent.
- Effective: It overstates its case. It’s like those toxic abortion leaflets landing in mailboxes all over Canada in recent days – to make their point, they rely on horrific images of the very thing (fetuses) they profess to be concerned about (fetuses). A better design of the ad could have made the same point without using ISIS’ own imagery.
That all said, the spot reminds me of Willie Horton. That, too, enraged the chattering classes and progressives. But those weren’t the folks Willie Horton was aimed at – and, in the end, Willie Horton worked with the American voters the GOP were courting.
Bottom line: most of the job in politics, now, is simply getting people to pay attention. My hunch is that the hue and cry about that CPC/ISIS/JT ad has helped to achieve the mission’s key objective: i.e., to get the electorate to pay attention in the sleepy Summer months and agree, yet again, that Justin Trudeau “just isn’t ready” to deal with the horrors that seemingly occur daily in this world.
That may make you mad. But it’s unlikely you were ever part of the audience the CPC had in mind when they did the thing up on some staffer’s computer, for about ten bucks.