August 31, 2009
The DeLay Morph: Goodbye Hammer, Hello Twinkletoes
If the image seems superfluous, validating how Tom Delay has found his level as a has-been anchoring a cheap reality
show, ABC in fact has afforded him the perfect platform.
DeLay’s appearance on the hit ABC series is virtually guaranteed to elevate him in the public sphere. Sure he’ll be talking about his two-step, but it’s only a matter of time before DeLay, R-Texas, is talking about the political dance he was once the master of back in Washington.
You’re reaching an audience that otherwise is going to tune out politicians,” said Stuart Roy, a former DeLay spokesman….
And that’s exactly what’s come to pass, Delay’s fear mongering, wingnut, birther-charged political pirouette facilitated, as you see
here, by that ratings enabler, Chris Matthews.
But it’s the image that best amplifies the spokesman’s point — as well as the visual shrewdness that comes from pairing the opportunistic media and reality TV (the “Dancing With the Stars” premier drawing 22 million last season) with a stalking horse of the radical right. The ABC promo photo embodies all kinds of instinctual pulls and associations (from: the leading man; the star; the competitor; two thumbs up for the heterosexual couple; here-here for non-intellectual pastimes; the nostalgia for days gone by; the lure of sex, the dance as foreplay; let’s party!).
And then, let’s not overlook the RioBend logo on DeLay’s shirt promoting the dancer’s evangelical
enterprise to reengineer foster care. As ABC TV, Matthews/MSNBC and DeLay himself well understand, life is product placement.
(image: ABC via TPM. If you check out the TPM slideshow , by the way, I liked image #4 which has a kind of S and M-ish quality to it.)
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