Friday, March 05, 2004

De gustibus non est disputandum*:

Sept. 11 Families Outraged by Bush Campaign Ad   - excerpts:
Families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks voiced outrage on Thursday at President Bush's first ads of his re-election campaign that use images of the devastated World Trade Center to portray him as the right leader for tumultuous times.

Long time Bush adviser Karen Hughes defended the four commercials -- which began running on Thursday in at least 16 important battleground states -- as "tastefully done."

Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt said the campaign will not withdraw the ads. "There is no bigger issue in this country than who is better prepared to deal with the realities that 9/11 created for this country."
Tastefully done? Why such restraint? After all, we're constantly being reminded that we are in a war (with a self-described "war president"). Why not go all out and push the envelope? Like this ...
please remove the photos

The photos of people jumping are awful. Please, I agree with your point, but the images are just too, too disturbing.

I shall remove the photos as you request. But first, I would like to say why they were put up. I consider those images to be the most powerful and terrifying of all from the day of the attack. Why? Because some people decided, in a matter of a half-hour or so, to kill themselves. What was going through their minds at the time must have been awful. And looking down and deciding to jump is frankly, something I cannot imagine.

Because Bush decided to make political points out of dead bodies (though I read that the image in the ad was actually of actors and props made up to look like they were from Ground Zero), I decided to put the ultimate imagry of the pain and suffering with Bush's campaign theme (Steady leadership in times of change).

I debated whether to put those images up, and consulted with a number of people on the subject. The feeling was that it was extremely strong, but justified in light of what Bush did with his ads.

I apologize for causing upset with my readers, and will take down the images.
Seriously though, a quick review of message posts (on Yahoo associated with this story) showed something we haven't seen in a long time - vocal support for Bush. For most of 2004, posts had been uniformly hostile to Bush (economy, WMD, etc.). But invoking 9/11 appears to help the president - at least in the short term and with a subset of the electorate. Looks like 2004 will be a really dirty campaign.

* - In matters of taste, there is no cause for argument.


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