Politics » Politics Feature

Oooh! That Naughty 'Playboy' Attack Ad on Harold Ford Jr.!


An Urban Myth, Rural Style

by "Kibitzer"

(from The Flypaper Theory.)

Honestly, I hadn't wanted to get into this one (other than by comments appended here and there on other blogs), but this campaign against "racist" ads on the part of the Corker campaign was ridiculous from the start and is getting more so.

Want something to criticize? Then go after these dumb-ass attacks upon Harold for being a "liberal." Yep, the same approach that knocked 10 to 15 points off Corker's polling when it dominated his ads in September. It's baaaaack! (And in the wake of Ford's abject condemnation of the New Jersey court ruling yet!) You know why those ads didn't work for Corker, btw? Because every damn body knew Ford weren't no liberal! Tennesseans may be crazy; they ain't stupid.

In any case, I am moved to object to the cacophony of condescension that has descended on us Tennesseans from the likes of Chris Matthews and that Barnicle character (a plagiarist of the Jayson Blair school) who tell us that we are provably bigots now if we don't respond to the RNC's "Playboy" ad by rushing to the polls to cast a protest vote (i.e., a vote for Ford). And a lesser tsunami had gotten started on this or that blog in relation to "jungle drums" (aka "tom-toms") under the mention of Ford in one of Corker's radio comparison ads.

Sigh! As the reinvigorated Mike Hollihan has pointed out on his blog, the same, the very same "tom toms" play under an image of Corker in a commercial presenting the candidate's health-care proposals. (Or, frankly, lack of health-care proposals. But that's another issue.)

As for the allegedly "racist" Playboy ad: Lookit, if that bimbo had been black, THAT would have been racist! It would have been saying, Stick to your own kind, black boy! Everybody knows that Harold Ford Jr. is an equal-opportunity dater. Give him his due! He dates as many white women as black women, if not more. And here's something else!: Nobody cares who he dates! This is the guy with the "white" grandmother, remember?

As for that residual lynching fever that purportedly (the purporters being all those self-satisfied media scolds) lingers in the boondocks of our primitive hinterland, needing only the sight of a slinky white woman winking at a light-skinned black man to be awakened -- give me a break!

No less an authority than our mayor, Willie Herenton, mused last week that candidate Ford has received a total pass on the race issue. Concerning Childe Harold's reception in rural Tennessee, Herenton opined, no doubt correctly: "Ford's light enough that he can go in there and be accepted by those folks. I'm realistic enough to know that I wouldn't have a chance. I'm just too dark."

The fact is, the "racism" in the Playboy ad was altogether in the eye of the beholder. Instead of trashing those hard-working Tennessee country folk whose retrograde ways are largely manifested by a shortage of Starbucks franchises in their neighborhoods, heal thyselves, physicians! Look in your own subconscious minds. That's where the connection between that sassy party gal and some lurid "racial" scenario came from. Otherwise, you would have seen what you were meant to see -- a suggestion that Harold Ford, bachelor and man-about-town par excellence, had too much of a yen for the fancy life. That's all.

Straighten up, dudes. I know that most of you are still trying to puzzle out whether to hold your noses and vote for Ford or to take a walk on the race. A few of you (I'm not supposed to reveal this) are actually going to vote for Corker. Oh, and yes, there's Chris Lugo.

Do what you will, but do it for honest reasons. Don't yield to some goofy judgmental hysteria that has taken the reddest of red herrings and tried to make a red-state Leviathan out of it.

Pssst! Here's the 'Playboy' attack ad. Judge for yourself!

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