Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Monday, August 4, 2008

NYT Sinks Lower

In the whole flap over McCain's "Celebrity" ad, this is probably the worst, and least rational argument made to date. The New York Times seems to be claiming that any ad that portrays the faithful and married Senator Obama in any context with two young white women must, by definition, have racist sexual overtones. Apparently the Times believes both that Obama is seen as a potential adulterer by much of the general public, and also that the threat that he might someday be romantically involved with a white woman sends us honkeys into paroxyms of panic. (Hey wait, isn't he the PRODUCT of a black man messin' with one of "our women"? Good thing we honkeys never figured that one out, or there might have been trouble...) However, unlike the really demented leftists, the Times doesn't even have the moral courage to make the argument in clear, unambiguous tones. Instead, we are left with a mealy-mouthed "uneasy feeling" experienced by their blogging staff.

Let's accept for a moment their assumption that the Ford ad of 2006 was racist (even though it wasn't). Does the mere fact that such an ad exists prove that any other ad combining the images of a black man and a pretty white woman is, by it's very existence racist? In the Ford ad, a sultry-looking blond told him to "call me" while noting his attendance at a party at the Playboy mansion. Surely this is a slightly different case than flashing pictures of Britney and Paris while discussing the fact that Obama is more celebrity than substance. Whatever you think the merits of that argument to be, Britney and Paris are the purest living embodiments of the concept of celebrity without substance.

The NYT's other arguments are equally profound. For example, saying that Barack Obama "rightly" said that Republicans are trying to scare voters on race in response ignores the fact that Obama has been making that particular argument for months, long before the McCain ad. He was priming the pump to label anything he could a racist attack back in June. It also ignores the fact that Obama first claimed that his "dollar bill" statement had nothing to do with race, then later admitted that race was "one of the factors".

Their most intelligent argument however, had to be the idea that "dealing from the bottom of the deck" is indelibly linked to the OJ Simpson trial. In an America in which the World Series of Poker's Main Event draws literally thousands of participants at $10,000 per entry, is televised on ESPN, and has spurred household games nationwide, the New York Times is convinced that a legitimate gambling phrase essentially meaning "to cheat" must conjure up images of a trial that occurred 14 years ago, and can have no other possible, more innocent meaning.

In a world where Tiger Woods is probably the country's most beloved athlete (see his smokin' white wife here), it's sad, but not unexpected that the Times cannot let go of it's dim view of the American people. As I mourn the death of rational newspaper journalism, I can at least take comfort in the fact that this level of irrational protestation can only mean that McCain really hit a nerve with the ad. Hopefully he can home in on this unease with Obama's lack of prime-time experience and exploit it.