October 26, 2006

Michael J. Fox

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The NYT describes it as one of the most powerful political ads ever made.

But then, The Times wipes its feet on it by pigeonholing the spot as primarily an attack ad.  To frame Michael J. Fox side-by-side with Willie Horton is not only disgusting, it misses the whole point of why this ad is shattering.

In less than thirty seconds, Michael offers us an enormous dose of qualities we’ve hardly seen a genuine political drop of in years.  Passion, genuineness, pain and honesty are the first to come to mind.

For Fox to expose himself and unmask his Parkinsonian symptoms side-effects (they go hand-in-hand, Rush) in the name of a coherent and humane stem cell policy has next-to-nothing to do with the Johnson daisy ad.  The Johnson ad is a simple, two-dimensional (if highly effective) piece of fear mongering — not unlike the fear-mongering this unqualified and hateful administration has been suffocating us with almost every minute since Bush and his cronies made off with the 2000 election.

In contrast, Mr. Fox is full of feeling and real life.  Maybe Americans have long lost any sense of what intimate, unselfconscious (and yes, partisan) political communication might actually look like?

And then, going back to The Times article, is it our pitiful legacy that the best analogy to describe this ad is to liken it to an Iraq hostage video?

(You Tube Ad video here.)

(screen shots: McCaskill for U.S. Senate – claireonline.com via YouTube)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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