Detracting from the ads

October 14th, 2010

If you’ve been watching TV lately you may have been a little confused during the commercial breaks. Instead of ads for baby back ribs and the newsest mom-approved minivan, the TV is flooded with political candidates unjustly taking stabs at one another to prove they deserve your vote.

The ads are so cruel that it could make you think that our country is full of corrupt politicians. I know what you’re thinking: How could politicians possibly be corrupt? 

Sarcasm aside, politicians disgust me with these cheap attempts to prove they’re the best candidate. It isn’t the politicians that are the subject of the commercials that have me concerned. I’m worried about the people “approving [those] messages.”

All smear campaigns are pathetic, but Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida took it to a new low. He turned his Republican opponent Daniel Webster, into “Taliban Dan.” 

The commercial, which opens with “I’m Congressman Alan Grayson and I approved this message,” goes on to accuse Webster of not loving his country, having no respect for women, and the desire to “impose his radical fundamentalism on us.”

It aired on Sept. 25, but I was introduced to the commercial during my media ethics class. This media was far from ethical. 

The clips for Grayson’s ad came from the Institute of Basic Life Principles, a religious conference sponsored by the Advanced Training Institute, where Webster gave advice to fathers about supporting their children and wives. 

The clips shown in the commercial were skewed to make it sound like Webster was saying “submit to me” and “wives submit yourself to your own husband.” According to, when put in context it is apparent that he was actually saying the opposite. At the talk he said that literal translations of the Bible should not be taken that way. 

Unfortunately for Grayson, no one supports the accusations he made, but it is definitely getting some attention. 

MSNBC called the commercial a “campaign attack ad” and invited Grayson on air to defend his unjust claims against Webster. Grayson didn’t back down. 

Contessa Brewer, the MSNBC news anchor, asked Grayson about his decision to run this commercial and his choice to compare Webster to the Taliban.

He said, “Well, the Taliban try to impose their bizarre religious views on the rest of us and so does my opponent and the group the he belongs to.”

Grayson, you’re giving politicans a worse name.