The Yellow Menace

Do you know who the number one Wall Street villain is?  It’s not Bernie Madoff or Ken Lay.  It is someone much more sinister.  He towers over all these people yet is beloved and watched by children the world over.  Worst of all he is a coward, so much so that he himself is yellow.  Who is this menace?  Find out after the break.

It’s this guy.

Image courtesy of the Muppet Wiki

Don’t believe me?  Just watch this:

Of course, everything I said before the break is hogwash.  I’m trying to make the point that political ads really are pulling at straws these days.  Any sort of slip-up or controversial statement is immediately turned into a defamatory ad.  At its worst, a candidate might base his party’s national convention on it (a la Obama’s “you didn’t build that”).  Words are being taken out of context, twisted to the point that they become unrecognizable, and then shoved in Americans’ faces.  This kind of mud-slinging is causing candidates to become less and less willing to speak their mind because anything they say can and will be used against them.

(As a side bar, Sesame Street folks have asked Obama to pull the ad because they do not want to be involved in politics)

While this ad is rather imaginative, the underlying point is valid.  Romney’s plan to reduce the deficit is ridiculous.  Lowering taxes while closing loopholes will raise the deficit, according to a study done by the Economist.  In addition to that, areas where he wants to cut funding, like PBS, make up minuscule portions of the national budget (PBS is 0.012 percent).  If Romney really wants to fix the economy, he should carefully detail how he plans to do so.  Telling people that it’s too boring to go into detail is not an adequate answer when the national election is a month away.

That being said, both candidates (Romney especially) seem to think telling the truth is not always necessary.  The worst part is, news channels support this!  Here’s another video:

Throughout the debate, Politifact checked almost all of the statements both candidates made; both are guilty of lying.  However, when a news channel endorses lying, pretending facts don’t matter, that is unethical.  I like to think that in the future ads will be more fact-based and less about making one’s opponent look bad.  If I’m being honest however (ironic), it will likely be a while.

Now, to cheer everyone up, here’s a new Disney Pixar video: Partysaurus Rex!


3 responses to “The Yellow Menace

  1. I can imagine why Sesame Street workshop does not want to be dragged into the political sphere. At the same time, Romney did bring it up in a clever way. I think people are angry about the sensation that “someone” is getting an unfair advantage. And public broadcasting is a very visible target. Moreover, Romney is trying to “reboot” (his words) his campaign and to present himself as Moderate Mitt and this was a good example of that. [on a side note, personally, I think we can look at the lack of quality programming for kids as a kind of market failure and hence there is a very legitimate reason for the government to help correct that. Without sponsors, PBS is free to do programming that will be designed by professionals to be good for kids.]

    I also think Obama’s ad is clever in its own way. As we say in “pop culture week,” comedy is not just about laughing but can be very effective at conveying ideas. Well, maybe fart jokes are just about laughing.

    I saw a very funny clip from the Daily Show where Stewart has Lou Dobbs railing against the $8million that goes to the Sesame Street Workshop. Stewart, who seems more capable of using video editing equipment than any major news station, points out that Dobbs was very upset that $4 billion in oil subsidies was being cut from the budget and that cut was irrelevant as (and he screw up the math) it is only .008% of 5 trillion (the US budget is around 3 trillion so I am not sure where the 5 came from).

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