Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

March 18, 2004

by V

MoveOn's Rumsfeld Ad

I quite enjoy watching MoveOn.org's 'Caught on Video' ad where Sec. Def. Donald Rumsfeld is confronted with his own words seconds after he denies saying the very thing he said. You rarely get such moments from today's corporate-lapdog media, so: Good job Bob Schieffer and Tom Friedman, and: Good catch, MoveOn.

It's a shame the clip has to be cut off, since I would have liked to hear more of Rumsfeld's backpedaling at the end.

The ad is most damaging on its second viewing, when you watch Rumsfeld say "you and a few other critics are the only people I've heard use the phrase `immediate threat.' I didn't. The president didn't..." after you know what's coming. If there were a way to repeat those initial words at the end, I think it would be even more effective without becoming heavy-handed.

But it's already a minute long, so that doesn't seem practical. A less effective way to do it would be to superimpose that key sentence somewhere on the last shot of Rumsfeld to remind people of exactly what he just said, but that would bring it firmly into the traditional-attack-ad genre and likely turn a number of important 'swing' audience members off.

The other, more obvious way to get people to see it more than once is to just saturate the airwaves with it, so: give to MoveOn.
Posted by V at March 18, 2004 08:26 AM

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