Just one morning I’d like to not see news that feels so compelling that I can’t turn it away for noting on the blog. For sure there are days when against all pressure I don’t give in, but this is just so ill I’m not posting the video here – you can see it for yourself at Salon’s post, “Creator of offensive campaign ad won’t apologize.” Excerpt:
The creator of a deliberately offensive ad portraying a female congressional candidate as a stripper and featuring two black men holding guns and repeatedly screaming, “Give me your cash, bitch!” is refusing to apologize to critics of the spot.
“We decided we would launch with a controversial ad that would piss a lot of people off,” says Ladd Ehlinger, Jr., a conservative filmmaker who has produced unconventional political ads in the past. “If I get dinged a little, then so be it,” he adds, acknowledging that he wrote and produced the ad for his new political group, Turn Right USA.
The ad targets Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who is running in a special election for an open congressional seat against a tea partyer named Craig Huey.
Huey’s campaign is on the record denouncing the ad, big whoop. That’s the problem with apologies – they do little to change the circumstances that allow such things to proliferate. New Ohio Treasurer and Republican primary US Senate candidate Josh Mandel’s refusal to apologize for the anti-Muslim slant of his 2010 campaign against Kevin Boyce, and only after the campaign did he at least say that he had regrets (not quite the same as an apology) is exactly the kind of behavior that encourages all sorts of wrong, wrong, wrong campaigning to occur – often with a high cost of participation in the political process to women and other minorities.
I’ve gone back to this many times but it is true: in 2006, after the Democrats won in Ohio, at a public event with former Ohio Republican Party chief, Bob Bennett and Ohio Dem Party chief, Chris Redfern, Redfern said that if you don’t like the kind of campaign or ads people and groups are running, do not give them money.
I’d go that one further – form a group to do the kind of ads and campaigning that you would be proud of, rather than have to apologize for later. How about that sometime?