NYT Board: McCain ‘Celeb’ Ad is Racist, But We’re Not Saying Why
From the Stunning Leap of Illogic Department, a post at the New York Times editorial board “blog” accuses the McCain campaign of running a racist advertisement—that “Celeb” ad featuring images of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
I had to read this twice to try to understand the point, and I’m still not sure I do. But they seem to be saying that simply putting an image of a white woman in an advertisement about Barack Obama is, prima facie, racist.
We know that operatives in modern-day presidential campaigns are supposed to say things that everyone knows are ridiculous — and to do it with a straight face.
Still, there was something surreal, and offensive, about today’s soundbite from the campaign of Senator John McCain.
The presumptive Republican nominee has embarked on a bare-knuckled barrage of negative advertising aimed at belittling Mr. Obama. The most recent ad compares the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton — suggesting to voters that he’s nothing more than a bubble-headed, publicity-seeking celebrity.
The ad gave us an uneasy feeling that the McCain campaign was starting up the same sort of racially tinged attack on Mr. Obama that Republican operatives ran against Harold Ford, a black candidate for Senate in Tennessee in 2006. That assault, too, began with videos juxtaposing Mr. Ford with young, white women.
They don’t spell out their ugly implications, and I’m not going to try to guess. But they do know that Barack Obama was just “calling McCain on the ploy” with his race-baiting response (never mind that this little zinger is a standard feature of Obama’s speeches):
Mr. Obama called Mr. McCain on the ploy, saying, quite rightly, that the Republicans are trying to scare voters by pointing out that he “doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills.’’
In the tank.