From the Editors
To everything there is a season, and every four years near the end of baseball season comes presidential voting season - which makes it open season for political jabbering, viral videos and passionate blogging about the candidates. First, let's recap this week's thrilling (yawn) debate. The consensus from both sides is that Mitt Romney did better than expected in the candidates' first televised contest to say things that may or may not have any relation to real-life action. Asks New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan: "Is Obama bored and wants to make a race of it? How else to explain a debate performance that one post-debate analysis correctly called listless, flat and uninspired?" "Romney was on the offensive, Obama mostly on the defensive," says The Moderate Voice in its roundup of post-debate news and blog reports. Even Obama partisans are giving their opponent one point. Mediaite says Chris Matthews on MSNBC had an epic meltdown about Obama's performance, saying "I don't know what he was doing out there." Concludes The Daily Kos: "It's clear that the president got spanked. It's one thing to play prevent defense, which is what he was doing, and it was another to completely ignore Mitt Romney and let lie after lie stand unchallenged. It was another thing to refuse to defend Social Security." On those points and others...
The Daily Beast got all fact-checky to see who lied (such a strong word) during the debate, and they fill a must-read web page with factual boo-boos from both candidates, compiled from other news reports. For example, Romney said there were five studies that prove the legitimacy of his tax plan, but "two were Wall Street Journal editorials," Politifact explains. President Obama said Romney's tax plan would send vouchers to older people instead of the existing Medicare program. It's actually going to be "vultures." Just kidding!
And then there were celebrity videos. Chuck Norris established his "batsh*t crazy" credentials years ago, but in his current contribution to political discourse he really nails it down. In a new video with his wife he says "We can no longer sit quietly or stand on the sidelines and watch the country go the way of socialism, or something much worse." "One wonders what could be 'much worse' than socialism in the mind of Chuck Norris," Political Scrapbook says. His wife explains: By backing Mitt Romney, she says, voters will "preserve for our children this last best hope for men on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into 1,000 years of darkness!" Which sounds bad. The blog suggests aging action men Norris and Clint Eastwood are less "ready to rumble" these days than "ready to ramble." But dissenting, Oregon Faith Report calls the Norris release "a blunt and bold public service announcement giving a political warning over where the nation is heading." Raw Story notes that "Norris has been an outspoken critic of Obama since even prior to the 2008 election. He's claimed in recent years that Jesus would have been aborted by his mother if 'Obamacare' were available 2,000 years ago, claimed that American progressives want to enshrine Islamic moral codes into U.S. law, and accused the Obama administration of trying to force the Boy Scouts to adopt a 'pro-gay' position."
Actor Kal Penn, whose movies are more about inaction than action, already had taken a hit (so to speak) for his pro-Obama video. Hit and Run called Penn a hypocrite: "Penn reprised his role as Kumar from the Harold and Kumar movies, and takes a phone call from Obama while stoned, watching cartoons, and eating junkfood. The subtle implication is that marijuana users are easily swayed, lazy idiots....several criticized Penn and Obama for the video, as Obama has utterly failed to live up to his promise to deprioritize federal prosecutions of medical marijuana."
Moving into the not-safe-for work video aisle, comedienne Sarah Silverman "has the 'brand new super f*cked up' Voter ID laws in her crosshairs and isn't shy expressing her opposition to them," explains Perez Hilton. Jewcy applauds with one hand, saying this is "less vulgar than her last video, in which Silverman offered to scissor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson if he donated to Obama instead of Romney" (it's a sex thing.) Explains The Caucus: "In the new video, called Let My People Vote, Ms. Silverman explains that social security cards, veteran identification cards and college student identification cards will not be accepted at the polls in some states, but handgun permits can be used in some places as identification." So she fixes up her grandmother with a pistol. But Red Alert Politics is not happy with the "profanity laced video" that mocks Voter ID laws: "The video continues the usual canard that such laws discriminate against black people, the elderly, students and the poor."
Samuel L Jackson is in captured on video too, with a little zinger called WTFU aimed at Obama voters. Says Truthdig: "Jackson stars in the profanity-laced [there's that phrase again] online video in which he urges voters to take a good look at the presidential candidates and 'wake the f**k up.'" Apparently he's seeking to atone for his lame Apple Siri commercial. Business Insider has an interview with the head of the political action committee that financed the SL Jacko video, the Jewish Council for Education and Research, which has a serious video-viralization strategy: "Unlike some of the other super PACs which are focused on producing advertising for TV, our videos won't be successful if they're not shared," the guy says. "We want to make something that makes people laugh, but once they watch it, they feel compelled to share it with their friends, their family members, email it, post it on social media." Alright - that's what we're talking about!