Monday, May 02, 2005

Spanking James Dobson

Max Blumenthal (and Jeff Jarvis by extension) hyperventilates that James Dobson--the most evil man in America and a threat to the very lives of everyone who isn't a fang-bearing evangelical Christian--will be running some ads on ABC's "Supernanny" in support of spanking!! How can such a thing be permitted, Blumenthal asks, when Dobson also happens to run a political 501c4 organization?

Before you pee your pants in outrage, I'll tell you that the non-profit arms of political organizations such as the NAACP-affiliated United Negro College Fund or the pan-environmentalist group Earth Share run similar ads, usually for no cost, on cable and broadcast routinely.

Blumenthal is also upset because ABC approved the Dobson ads after it earlier rejected a campaign from the United Church of Christ promoting the denomination's belief that homosexual conduct should not exclude one from church leadership. Those ads were rejected on the grounds that they were too politically controversial and ideological.

Unfortunately, the comparison of the two campaigns doesn't hold here since spanking is not nearly as controversial as homosexuality, as this ABC News poll shows. Last year, by a 2-to-1 margin, American adults said they sometimes spank their kids.

Personally, I would've run all of these groups' ads but to insist that Dobson shouldn't be allowed the right to simply because he's a sumbitch is nonsensical. Would Jarvis have let Dobson's group run them if he were running ABC? He should if he truly believes in open media. If he does, why link to such an illogical and poorly researched rant without condemning it?

UPDATE: Welcome Ace of Spades readers! I have to say, I agree wholeheartedly with Ace's remark that "one's politics are decided chiefly not by what you believe per se, but by whichever side's bullshit annoys you the least." It's why negative campaigning is almost always successful.