Ads ‘n’ Ends

Who Dat Who Say Louisiana Is 1st in Ethics Disclosure Laws?

The Pelican State has hitched its wagon to the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl bid by running a national newspaper ad for Louisiana Economic Development headlined, “The Stats Don’t Lie.”

Alongside the Saints’ accomplishments on the field this year (1st in Touchdowns Scored, 1st in Points per Game, etc.) are Louisiana’s stats: 1st in New Jobs and Investment in the South (think Hurricane Katrina) and, less impressively, 1st Nuclear Module Manufacturing Facility in the U.S.

But then there’s this:

1st in Ethics Disclosure Laws.

Most people’s initial reaction would be, “good – since Louisiana has traditionally featured the most ethically challenged politicians in the nation.”

(See: Long, Huey and Long, Earl and Edwards, Edwin and etc.)

But wait. There’s more, according to this Times-Picayune piece last month:

BATON ROUGE — Some of the changes the Legislature made to state ethics laws in 2008 have hindered the operations and findings of the state Board of Ethics, a Baton Rouge-based governmental watchdog organization said in a report released Wednesday.

So Louisiana’s ethics disclosure reform has actually made it easier for Louisiana politicians to avoid ethics reform.

Huey Long would be proud.

White House Chief of Stuff (It)

Let’s stipulate, as they say on “Law & Order,” that Rahm Emanuel is an idiot.

(Exhibit Z: Emanuel’s calling a group of Democratic activists “f– retarded” according to a Wall Street Journal piece last week. )

Let’s also stipulate that the (for now) White House chief of staff richly deserves every dope-slap he’s gotten from the news media, including Lauren Beckham Falcone’s spanking in Thursday’s Boston Herald.

That said, Falcone’s piece does raise an interesting question. According to the redoubtable Dan Kennedy of Media Nation, Falcone has skin in this game:

Lauren Beckham Falcone has a good column in today’s Boston Herald, criticizing White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel for using the phrase “fucking retarded.” Falcone, who has a daughter with Down syndrome, writes:

Here’s the deal: the R-word is not an innocuous euphemism. It’s as hateful and belittling and bullying as racial slurs and homophobic epithets and sexual harassment.

So here’s the question.

In her piece, Falcone quoted former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s very personal objection to Emanuel’s knuckleheaded comment:

Then Monday, the Pit Bull with Lipstick took a bite of the chief of staff. Sarah Palin, whose son, Trig, has Down syndrome, on Facebook called for ousting Emanuel.

Given that, shouldn’t Falcone have disclosed her own personal connection to the issue?

Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing but sympathy and respect for any family that faces these kinds of challenges. But from a journalistic standpoint, what’s the right thing to write?

Planned Puntinghood

From AlterNet:

Planned Parenthood Posts Pro-Woman Ad,

Putting the Pressure on CBS

With Super Bowl Sunday only a few days away, the fight over Focus on the Family’s overtly anti-choice ad featuring University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is catching on. On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood released an ad of its own, featuring Olympic gold medalist Al Joyner and former NFL player Sean James defending a woman’s right to choose. The online ad, which has gotten some 45,300 views on YouTube, steers clear of that particular phrase (let alone the word “abortion”), but it does present an effective rejoinder to Focus on the Family’s “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” theme.

Okay – so Focus on the Family’s pro-life commercial will draw 100 million viewers on Sunday’s CBS Super Bowl broadcast, while Planned Parenthood’s home video will score – what – 100,000 views on YouTube?

You do the math – political and otherwise.

If the pro-choice forces really want to put pressure on CBS, they’ll scrape together three million bucks and buy their way onto the Big Game.

I’m laying plenty of eight-to-five they don’t.

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