Friday, October 10, 2008

Why Some Political Attack Videos Don't Work

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 5:45 AM

The first 45 seconds of this partisan attack video are infuriating. After some shaky hand-held shot of Sarah Palin stumping at a rally in Strongsville, Ohio, onscreen comes an older man sporting a bucket hat. As he's beginning to explain the reasons behind why he made a sign comparing Obama to Osama, Bucket Hat is cut off by the narrator. "Is he a terrorist?" he asks. Bucket Hat waves the camera away, shaking his head saying "You want a soundbite, forget it." Getting your political enemies to hang themselves is a delicate art. It requires gaining their trust, asking probing, non-threatening questions and then biting your tongue, lest you come off looking like a confrontational dick. The above video is one demonstration of how NOT to go about it. Sure, Bucket Hat eventually offers a maddeningly terse and insane quote (Obama is a "one-man terror cell"). But a glimpse into the mind that equates a prospective Presidential candidate with a man responsible for the deaths of thousands is too fascinating a thing to waste on pithy soundbites ("fascinating" in this instance being a synonym for "terrifying"). In other words: LET BUCKET HAT TALK. Thanks to this narrator's line of questioning, no doubt cribbed from the Bill Maher Handbook on Smarm and Condescension, it's a treat we'll all be denied. Keep watching if you like. But only for a primer on how to engender sympathy for those you wish to embarrass.

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