Ads like Hillary's "it's 3 AM" work--and that's a problem. At least in the view of David Wright it is. As I described here, the ABC reporter doesn't work particularly hard to keep his Obama light under a basket.
Wright-the-ABC-Obamacan was back at it today. GMA ran a segment featuring Casey Knowles, whose image as an eight-year old was used in Hillary's ad. Knowles has since grown up to be an active, 17-year old Obama supporter. To set up the interview with Knowles by Bill Weir and Juju Chang, Wright narrated a segment about the ad itself.
Wright spoke as a brief clip of the ad played in the background.
DAVID WRIGHT: Thirty seconds, designed to scare millions of voters.
Cut to clip of Obama: "We've seen these ads before. They're usually the kind that play on people's fears and try to scare up votes."
That's when Wright, echoing Obama, wrung his hands.
WRIGHT: The trouble is, they work.
Wright's clearly upset that Hillary's ad was successful. He ended his segment on a cautionary note.
WRIGHT: How did [Knowles] end up in a Clinton ad? The same way the factory worker from Al Gore's ad in 2000 ended up in a John Kerry ad in 2004: file footage, available on the cheap. The lesson for voters: advertising, and reality, are sometimes two very different things.
But was Wright's warning fair game, or simply an attempt to undercut Clinton? After all, the ad certainly didn't suggest the sleeping girl was a Hillary supporter, nor that the scene itself was anything but a dramatization.
Then it was on to the interview with Casey Knowles, who showed herself to be a bright and articulate young woman. Knowles has been working as an Obama precinct captain in her home state of Washington. Weir ended the interview by offering her some equal time to counteract Hillary's 3 AM ad.
BILL WEIR: So since she used your image to give this message that she's much more experienced and would be the better person to answer that dangerous call, why is she wrong? Here's your equal-time opportunity. Why is Hillary Clinton wrong in what she said in that ad?
CASEY KNOWLES: Well, what I don't like about the ad is fear-mongering. I think it's a cheap hit to take. And I really prefer Obama's message of looking forward to a bright future where there aren't crises, you know? I think that's much stronger message, is hope. And that's getting criticized, that hope isn't real, hope isn't practical, but what more could you want in a leader?
Now, not to be too tough on a 17-year, and gosh knows I'd like to have a Casey Knowles on my side in a political campaign. But since she has put herself out there, is an Obama precinct captain, and above all because her message sounds so much like that of older people who should know better, let's examine it.
My first thought was that her pitch sounded like Rush's parody of an Obama ad, filled with frothiness about "hope" and "the future." I'd focus on this line:
I really prefer Obama's message of looking forward to a bright future where there aren't crises, you know?
We do know. We'd all prefer that bright future where there are no crises, that future of champagne wishes and caviar dreams. Of course there's only one little problem with that . . .
It's one thing for an idealistic 17-year old to imagine a world free from crisis; altogether another for David Wright to decry the intrusion of reality into the campaign. Whether or not Hillary's the right person to pick up that phone, for an all-grown-up MSMer like Wright to decry an ad that acknowledges the reality that every American president has and surely will face at least one serious crisis is nothing short of . . . the Obamification of ABC.