January 2, 2016

WashPost: Putting Black Opponent in a Darker Light in Political TV Ads Is Racist

A time-honored tactic in political TV ads is to use contrasting degrees of photographic exposure, one bright and snappy for your candidate and a darker hue, sometimes even going to old-fashioned black-and-white, for your opponent.

On December 29, at the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, Max Ehrenfreund cited a conveniently timed “study” which looked at 2008 ads produced by and on behalf of GOP presidential candidate John McCain, and concluded that the McCain campaign and its supporters, by using such a tactic, were engaging in racism:


Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (010216)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

Positivity: Miami Dolphins Player Pays for Woman’s Items in Store After She Assists Him in Line. Days Later He Receives a Mysterious Package.

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Miami, Florida:

Dec. 29, 2015 10:13am

A few days after Christmas, Miami Dolphins free safety Walt Aikens was relaxing at his home when his apartment’s front desk man called, struggling to explain a strange package that had just been left in his name.

Curious, Aikens headed downstairs to retrieve the mysterious parcel. The package, decorated in Christmas ribbons and bows, was “from some lady at Walmart,” the front desk man haltingly explained Monday afternoon.

“Then it hit me,” Aikens told TheBlaze in an interview later that day.

Only a couple of days prior, on Christmas Eve, Aikens went to the retail superstore for wrapping paper and other supplies. Instead of grabbing a shopping cart, Aikens said he was “being the macho man that I am” and tried to carry everything in his arms.

It was while he was waiting in a long holiday line that an elderly woman offered him her cart as she saw that he was struggling to balance all of his items. At first Aikens refused, but when she asked again, a few minutes later as he was still struggling, he relented.

“This time I accepted because the line was moving nowhere near as fast as it was when I had first gotten in line,” Aikens said. “I was very thankful and appreciated her generosity.”

Aikens said he noticed her cart was filled with chocolate chips, cake batter, sprinkles and baby clothes, and the 24-year-old inferred that she was going to bake Christmas cookies for her grandchildren. As it was Christmas — and in spite of the woman’s protestations — Aikens paid for the woman’s items along with his own.

He told TheBlaze that the woman simply asked for his address in return, having no idea that he was a professional athlete, and promised to send him cookies as she said no one had ever been that nice to her — “especially in Florida” — before.

Surprising Aikens, the woman at the store kept true to her promise and had a box of homemade baked goods delivered to him. …

Go here to see a copy of the woman’s thank-you letter, and for the rest of the story.

NY Times Correlates Trump Support With Racism — Based on Decade-old Google Searches

On Wednesday, Nate Cohn at the New York Times, who by some accounts is being anointed the next Nate Silver of polling, made a clumsy and despicable attempt to inject race into his political “analysis” of the Donald Trump phenomenon.

Cohn’s tediously long writeup, which made Page A3 in the New York version of the Old Gray Lady’s print edition on Thursday, attempted to identify and characterize Donald Trump supporters. Apparently troubled by finding that Trump’s support crosses into a number of groups with whom Republican presidential candidates have usually fared poorly, he felt the need to go far afield for evidence of something sinister. Thus, he attempted to correlate the level of current support for Trump’s presidential candidacy to regional levels of racism as seen in Google searches. That’s right, Google searches — from 9-12 years ago.