In the Loop

In the Loop: September 24, 2008 Archive

Goodness gracious: Al Franken says SWEAR words?!?

Posted at 9:59 AM on September 24, 2008 by Jeff Horwich (5 Comments)

Look, I'm non-partisan. We're watching both sides.

And I think I can objectively say that the new Norm Coleman ad (which I ran across for the first time last night on TV) is among the most depressing, childish political attacks I've ever seen:

This ad is a new low point in this campaign. Thank goodness for McCain-Feingold, which actually requires Norm Coleman to stick his face at the front of this ad and own up to it.

You mean Al Franken swears? My precious ears! And he seemed like such a nice man...Well, I couldn't possibly vote for a man who's such a pottym-

Wait...wasn't it George W. Bush, running for president in 2000, who turned to Dick Cheney at an open mic and joked about the "major league a--hole from the New York Times?" Seems like Coleman and other Republicans were able to stomach that one, even though we know they never, ever issue a foul word themselves.

Two facts:
* Most Americans swear (in fact, 64% admit to using the F-bomb)
* About half of Americans say they are "bothered a lot" when they hear coarse language

The key to this possible contradiction, of course, is *where* the swearing happens: in public, in private...and who's in earshot.

When it happens in rapid, carefully-edited succession, during prime-time TV when we're watching with our kids, I guess Norm Coleman would like to think it will feel particularly offensive. So much so that voters suspend reason, logic, reality...and forget about their own human inclinations.

I'd hope most know better. (And when I catch a Franken ad this low, I promise not to pull any punches. But I'm still waiting for that.)

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