In the Loop

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.)

Comments (5)

I can't imagine that Senator Coleman is attracting many swing voters with this ad, in which he comes across as a sanctimonious twit with misplaced priorities.

Posted by bsimon | September 24, 2008 11:04 AM

Only one word can properly describe this tactic:


Posted by regularg0nz0 | September 24, 2008 11:44 AM

How a person expresses himself is all a part of who he or she is. I'm sure we can all feel really "cool" because we swear and say the f-word (why does this sound like grade school?), but I would hope that people hoping to become our elected representatives have more "class", more self-control and are a bit more mature than what Al Franken displays.

Posted by Martin L. | September 24, 2008 3:15 PM

Doesn't this just make Franken look strong and aggressive, qualities people admire? I mean, how many people out there happen to agree that politicians are shameless? How many are cheering Al when they see this ad? Coleman seems pretty tonedeaf on this one.

Posted by J_Brisby | September 25, 2008 6:55 AM

I would hope that rather than concentrating on who uses inappropriate language would come a little after some important issues in people's minds. He was a comedian.

Honestly I think that swearing matters much less than the newest Republican chant of "Kill Obama" and all the new references to not wanting "them" to take over Washington.

Racism is still going strong and many of those same intolerant people can't stand to hear the word "sh!t". Get your priorities straight people. Some things should just be known to be inconsequential.

Posted by Jason Ziniel | October 10, 2008 11:14 AM

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