Politico's Dirty Mind on the Herman Cain Smoker

Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer identified the dirty mind Politico writer Glenn Thrush brought to talk radio (although if it's liberal talk radio, it's probably not safe for young audiences anyway). On the October 27 edition of the Bill Press show, Press and Thrush were discussing the very buzzworthy Herman Cain ad that concludes with Cain chief of staff Mark Block blowing cigarette smoke at the end.

Many media people wondered if this would send a bad pro-smoking message to America's youth. To Thrush, that seemed like a celebratory smoke after sex:

GLENN THRUSH, POLITICO: Didn't that just strike you as sort of weirdly being post-coital?

BILL PRESS: Because of the cigarette?

THRUSH: And the smile.

Maloney pointed out that Block didn't smile, but Cain does to exude confidence at the ad's end. So Cain is smiling at Block's "post-coital" smoking? There's a lot of Freudian psychoanalysis going on there. On his show, Rush Limbaugh ran several snippets of mocking/disapproving media patter, including CNN's John King: 

RUSH: That was John King, "To celebrate smoking at the end of a video I find reprehensible."  Can you imagine how uptight these people's lives are?  Can you imagine what it's like to be these people?  I just think about how tightly wound and uptight these people are.  Folks, I'm telling you this is who they are, this is a great illustration of how you have this holier-than-thou, superior bunch of people who are willing to condemn everything that you do that they disapprove of.  There's no freedom. There's no living your life on your own.  You're gonna be harassed if these people find out about it.

And then there's Obama.  He doesn't know how much he helped us with this comment of his yesterday. (paraphrasing) "Yeah, what the Republicans are saying, if they win, you're on your own."  Damn right we're on our own.  Hallelujah!  That's exactly what we want to be is on our own.  And he's out there trying to warn people, "If the Republicans win they're basically saying you're on your own."  Exactly right we're on our own.  We want to be on our own.  We do much better for ourselves than you do, you dolt, look what you've done.  I love it.

Anyway, there's one more sound bite on this smoking business.  It's from the Cain campaign.  This was yesterday on Fox, Megyn Kelly talking to Herman Cain's chief of staff Mark Block about the ad, and she asked him what the message behind the ad was.

BLOCK:  The message behind the ad was to our supporters that we're on a roll, we are excited about what’s happening. There was so subliminal message. In fact, I personally would encourage people not to smoke, it's just that I'm a smoker, and as a lot of the people on the staff said, "Just let Block be Block." That's what it was all about.

RUSH:  Mark Block is the guy's name, just let Block be Block.  I smoke, what the hell, none of your business.  It was an ad.  There's no secondhand smoke in an ad.  If you want to talk about influencing the kids then let's talk movies and let's talk rock music, and let's talk music videos, and if you want to talk about influencing the kids, that's all just a crock.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis