Tuesday, May 13, 2014

HBO comedian sums up the ads so far in our Senate race: 'She hates coal and he is an old man'

In Sunday's edition of his HBO series, “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver focused on political advertising, specifically in the Senate race in Kentucky. It was a hilarious take on political ads that could only be shown on a pay network.

Oliver did a good job of putting political ads in a different perspective than what we normally see and said aloud the things many of us probably have been thinking: how childish and immature political ads can get, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court relaxed limits on political money.

Oliver showed clips from the candidates' television and online ads to argue that the candidates' primary tactic is to demonize and belittle the other, perhaps subliminally.

"For Mitch McConnell, it's about how much he loves coal and how much his opponent hates it," Oliver said. And the message of Alison Lundergan Grimes is, "She is not Mitch McConnell in any way, shape or form. . . . She hates coal and he is an old man."

He then showed his own mock political ad for each one, "very much in the spirit of the ads they're already running," he said, to show how the campaigns' ads would look if their strategy and tactics were taken to the extreme.

Oliver’s mock ad for McConnell showed Grimes slaughtering coal miners with a chainsaw, portraying his theme that she hates coal because of her support for President Obama.

His mock ad for Grimes portrayed McConnell, using video that could be classified as pornographic, as a flaccid old man who can no longer help the state.

In the coming race between it is clear that age may be a huge factor: either McConnell is too old or Grimes is too young and inexperienced. An early McConnell ad said Grimes was "not ready for prime time."

Oliver proves just how ridiculous McConnell and Grimes are being, and shows their lack of focus on important issues in a race that may turn out to be the nation's most expensive ever for the Senate. The money being spent is outrageous, especially when the candidates fail to discuss the important issues that Kentucky actually faces. Oliver listed the state's high rank in poverty, obesity, unemployment, illiteracy and cancer deaths and said, "This race is all but ignoring Kentucky's substantial problems."

It seems as if the candidates are ignoring what really matters in Kentucky and focusing on what will make their opponent look bad. As Oliver put it, "The people of Kentucky deserve everyone's sympathy."

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