SECOND UPDATE 10/7/15
Sam Hall did in fact react to the “horse crap” ad and wrote that Better Schools Better Jobs substantially misrepresented the Clarion Ledger’s position and called the ad ‘deceptive’. Good for him.
Better Schools Better Jobs is reportedly in the process of revising the ad.
Well, right on cue, the folks at BSBJ and Initiative 42 help prove my original point. They drag out Sam Hall’s quote on a BLOG POST (emphasis added) into a new TV ad in record time.
The screen shot above, as poetic as it looks, proves me right on Saturday. BSBJ has taken what Sam Hall portrayed only as a BLOG POST and not as an editorial and now made it seem like the entire editorial position of the “Clarion Ledger” is behind their effort. That’s how fast it can happen. That’s why playing both sides even within the confines of a BLOG POST from the editor of the paper is so critical. So far, there doesn’t appear to be any response from Sam about BSBJ using his words like that. Maybe one is forthcoming.
Hall took umbrage with the original post on Saturday and took to the Twitterverse to make his feelings known. My point wasn’t and isn’t that he’s a long-time Democrat plant secretly plotting to poison the Mississippi citizens with the seeds of a liberal conspiracy. The points I was trying to illustrate were (1) it could be pretty easily made to look that way if he weren’t careful and (2) that the position he occupies has power, and that he (like it or not) has to think two or three moves down the chess board on everything he writes . . . BLOG POST or not. The luxury of just firing off as he did, and as I occasionally do as a (gasp) BLOGGER, isn’t and shouldn’t be what it used to be for him.
Time will tell if the “Clarion Ledger” has the “courage of their convictions”, whatever they are regarding an endorsement of either the pro or anti-Initiative 42 position. Hall is on record saying he’s not a supporter of 42. It will be interesting to watch how he reacts to the ad and how the whole issue is covered by the Clarion Ledger down the home stretch.
Your history generally defines you at least in the public’s eye. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever escape it, but it’s always there. And especially in a high profile position, you must always acknowledge that and always be mindful of it.
This fight over Initiative 42 has essentially evolved (or devolved) into a Democrats vs. Republican battle. The pro-42/BSBJ staff has made it that way from day one by crafting what is essentially a partisan end around to a legislative process that they know they are permanently unable to win, but make no mistake that this is now a partisan fight in the truest sense of the word.
Former state Democratic Party Executive Director and now Clarion Ledger Executive Editor Sam Hall “threw a flag” over the weekend at the latest ad created by IMPIC, which has aligned against Initiative 42.
First, watch the ads in question. Watch the original ad from Better Schools Better Jobs.
Now watch the ad that IMPIC produces in direct response to that ad that Hall called a “load of horse crap”.
As Geoff Pender said earlier this week, there’s enough hyperbole to go around. But Hall looks like the referee that missed the really intentional cheap shot only to throw a flag at the guy pushing off on the original offender. Is he being intentionally this dense or did he really just not see the original ad?
Hall complains about the “one liberal Hinds County Judge” line saying essentially that it’s code for defunding suburban schools to fund inner city schools instead. What stuck out to me in the original BSBJ ad was an image of a white “legislator” wrestling away a laptop from a young African American boy. (By the way, the lack of any media or alt+media mention of this has been deafening – but that’s what happens when BSBJ hires their buddy, I guess.) Given our state’s history, that’s about as incendiary as it gets. It seems Better Schools Better Jobs can gleefully use racially loaded images and no one utters a peep. And Hall talks about imagery and doesn’t mention that? Really, Sam?
Given your history, Sam, if you’re going to call it, you need to at least try and call it both ways. Otherwise, some folks might get the wrong idea.
So far, the state media has given BSBJ a total pass. There’s been no critical look at their funding (except for here), and there’s been no critical attention paid to the intentions of the people running their effort. Their intentions are just assumed to be pure by the media ‘cause the BSBJ effort is largely made up with their buddies. Plus, who could ever do something impure “in the name of helping children”?
We’ll continue to do the work that no one else seems willing or able to do coming down the home stretch.