I was giving some thought to the peculiar use of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in McCain's spot about Obama's "celebrity" (curious that, making out that his opponent is just so damn popular, and then turning the ad into being *really* about...um...off-shore drilling? Again, WTF?) especially after reading my usual favorite blogs on the subject.
Now, Rick Davis (whose response, along with the response of other McCain flacks, can be found here) has tried to maintain that these two attractive young ladies have been chosen because of their celebrity. They are just that famous. It can be argued that Orprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Will Smith and a whole lot of other people, who have never forgotten to wear drawers in public, are probably in that star-power league, but let's forgo the whys and wherefores a minute. Because some people definitely suspect there's a subliminal undercurrent in the choice of...something.
Josh Marshall sees a parallel with the despicable "Call me" ad used against Harold Ford. John Aravosis views the likening of Obama to two flighty girls, as probable gay-baiting. And I?
Well, I confess my initial reaction was--"Shoot, Obama is not a blonde girl." If I think about who these celebrities are, I find Britney and Paris are now kind of viewed as "famous for being famous" by this point, which might be what the McCampaign was rather cattily getting at, but here's my thought on that:
There are two real women behind the glitter of celebrity. And their names were used kind of as a political smear. That's just tacky. I have posted before how I feel sympathy for Ms. Spears, because she has been through some stuff. Celebrity at a young age, and the constant click'n'bitch of papparazzi and the total 24/7 spotlight can mess up a person trying to have something like an okay life. But she does have talent, or that little Mouseketeer that was never would've got this far. And as for Paris Hilton--she does have some business-savvy, because she's really succeeded in making a business out of being famous for being famous. I don't think it's really fair to them to have their names used that way, as if by being famous, they have done something wrong, where by association, their images somehow should detract from some other, not even-connected-to-them, person.
So even though I want to look for "where's the subliminal subtext"--I find I just think it's dumb to bring up people who have nothing to do with politics and make them look like they are bad because the tabloids love them. I am so sure that love from the tabloids is not something they especially like about their fame.
John McCain, being a public figure of some note himself, should understand that much, you think?