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05/25/2009

Video: New? This exploitative ad's been boring/enraging/eyeroll-provoking us for years.

by Jeremy Hooper

Before saying anything else, let us just tell you that the ad that forms the setup of the following Fox News clip is not even close to new. We first tracked the ad in October of 2006, when it was being used to target Wisconsin voters. Then in '07 we saw, or rather heard, NOM use the same script for a New Jersey radio spot. And then in May of 2008, we yet again found NOM using the spot for its Rhode Island radio campaign. In fact, the ad has been used and reused so much over the past few years, we actually recorded our own response to it. Hell, at this advanced point the "kids" probably have more questions about their first grey hairs than they do these unscrupulous anti-gay scares!

Now that that's out of the way: Go watch Michelangelo Signorile, Wendy Wright, and Laura Ingraham discuss this thoroughly non-new news:

Yes that's right, Wendy: "moral values" don't change. Now your team just needs to change your unabashedly discriminatory strategies so that we gay folk can finally find respite from the immoral words and actions that you all have been firing at us for the past many decades!

Oh and seriously, kid: Get a new ad! This one is not your movement's "Harry and Louise," destined to find a deserved home in the Museum of Political Campaigning. It's more like the early 80's ads for New Coke, inevitably headed for the annals of poorly conceived, highly unnecessary ideas that managed to taint a generation before ultimately being buried under an inescapable pile of embarassment and shame.

My Fox News Debate [Signorile]

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Your thoughts

I'm really, *really* getting tired of Wendy Wright lying on national television about events like the school field trip in San Francisco and the arrest of David Parker in Massachusetts.

She has about as much integrity as a snake oil salesman.

Posted by: zortnac | May 25, 2009 11:11:27 PM

It's good to know that they at least have an ecological bent, with all the recycling they do.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | May 26, 2009 8:13:56 AM

I agree, zortnac. Signorile did not call her on it and then bring the conversation home that many parents support same sex marriage and he did not ask the question "what about gay parents." I just plain didn't like it. He seemed to be too controlled. Ingraham was pushing the same sex proponents vs. parents argument and he did nothing to break that dynamic.

Posted by: a. mcewen | May 26, 2009 8:43:11 AM

One more thing - we can get tired of their lies but when our spokespeople (self appointed or not) will not address them, what can we do?

Posted by: a. mcewen | May 26, 2009 8:44:12 AM

Alvin (and everyone): For us, this is all shorthand. It's easy for us to say "David Parker" and get everyone on the same page, so that we can then analyze the untruths being spun around the story. But we are in a very small minority of people who understand this stuff so well.

So just to play Devil's advocate: I think when looking at short segments like this one (which also had the burden of being held in hostile waters), we have to consider what both the audience and the host will allow. Had Mike tried to get deeply into some of Wright's lies, there's a good chance he would have eaten up the majority of his time, and probably been shot down by Ingraham whenever he hit on something to damaging for their side.

It's intensely frustrating, since we can so clearly spot the bullshit, and we know that the far-right knows that they are lying. And I don't mean to suggest that we shouldn't try to find every opportunity to deliver face-egg to our opposition (Lord knows I've turned it into an artform). But I do think there are other considerations.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 26, 2009 9:53:44 AM

From my perspective, it doesn't take any research to figure out some of the problems in hostess' argument. Take the "child exploitation" problem:

There is a world of difference between a child going on a camera to speaking about their family and reading a script for an television ad. Its like comparing a commercial to a documentary and saying they try to accomplish the same thing.

I don't think I used any sophisticated reasoning to make that kind of comparison and come to my conclusion. So I would ask my skeptics, which "camera appearance" do you think more honestly depicts the child's actual life? I would say the most honest depiction is the less exploitative based on the very reason that it is an honest glimpse into the child's life.

Posted by: DanM | May 26, 2009 11:52:52 AM

I don't think you'll find many skeptics here, Dan. Everyone seems to find the commercial extremely exploitative.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 26, 2009 12:01:07 PM

I know I'm preaching to the choir. I guess what I'm trying to unsuccessfully say is that the average unbiased person can easily come to the same conclusion and not have to involve higher brain functions in the process. I find it funny that these people believe they can dupe people with this, and I find it sad that so many actually are duped.

Posted by: DanM | May 26, 2009 12:25:22 PM

No, no -- I didn't mean to imply that your message was unsuccessfully delivered, Dan. Just to say that you're right and I (and most G-A-Y readers) agree.

What I was speaking to earlier was not the need to be smarter or more analytical to understand the far-right's dupes. What I was meaning to say is that some of these situations that we in activist circles know by heart -- like, for instance, the David Parker story and the New Jersey Pavilion matter -- are very complex and require lots of explanation for the average viewer. I was just playing Devil's advocate in terms of why Michelangelo, who typically gives good media, might wanna shy away from some of his opposition's more complex untruths.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 26, 2009 12:33:35 PM

I see what you are saying Jeremy.

It is frustrating when the religious right can cite a factoid without the courtesy of a correction. I really wish that there was a way that those of us on the blogs can get the truth out to the rest of the lgbt community via places like Logo or an article in The Advocate.

Posted by: a. mcewen | May 26, 2009 12:33:59 PM

In full disclosure I should say that I chatted with Michelangelo about this very appearance. So I'm not just assuming some of my thoughts.

Alvin: All we can do is keep pressing some of these outlets. But it's tough in the current climate. I've been on Logo and in The Advocate a couple of times. The former is quite wary about getting involved in political matters (or any "controversies") and the latter has space constraints and other commitments that make breaking in very hard.

But honestly, in this day and age, there are few media forces more powerful than our collective online voices. Everyone who puts out content has to be more strategic about how we propel our community's strongest messages.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 26, 2009 12:37:38 PM

G.A.Y., I was considering that when trying to think about the lie from Wendy's perspective. I sincerely doubted she's simply misinformed on the subject, and figured that knowing it's a deliberate lie, she either:

1. Expects to get away with it
2. Is baiting her opponent to waste their time addressing said lie, as you described

Either way, it's a win-win for her. This is what frustrated me so much during the prop 8 campaign. It takes seconds for them to drop little sound bites that are just as deceitful as they are effective, and it takes us 10 times as long to explain how a father in Massachusetts was *really* arrested for an act of civil disobedience after the school was more than willing to sit down and discuss his concerns.

Posted by: zortnac | May 26, 2009 12:38:21 PM

Oh yea, Zortnac: Get the misinformed option completely out of your head. She knows what she's doing, and taking advantage of complexity to dupe the public. That, as you ably detail, is a (if not *the*) defining element of their movement.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 26, 2009 12:50:03 PM

GAY,

That makes sense and I did misinterpret your comment (sorry). The issues are complex. Furthermore, interviews like this like to keep a kind of emotional high that gives them more views, and any complex explanation would undo that "riveting debate" feeling.

I agree that she cannot be uninformed because if they are shooting for a certain angle on the issue (which is almost a certainty), she needs to know the facts in order to deal with any "inconvenient" truths.

Posted by: DanM | May 26, 2009 3:13:22 PM

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