Eye on Profits -- Everybody knows the real show on Super Sunday is usually the ads. More often than not -- and especially when they give coaches two weeks instead of one to prepare -- the Super Bowl itself is a blowout. This year, along with the usual offerings, you'll get to see ads bolstering President Bush's War on Drugs and Terror. Controversial, you say? Perhaps, but this is America, and whoever can pony up the $2 million or more per 30-second spot can get their message out. Right?
Wrong. You see, CBS, the broadcaster of this weekend's big game, has refused to air an ad from the group MoveOn, which points out that future generations will have to pay for the deficits being created today. It's actually not nearly as controversial as the Drug War, since even many Republicans have complained about the current record-setting deficits. Still, CBS executives refused to air the ad, saying they have a policy against advocacy ads that deal with "controversial issues." This is the same outfit that pulled a miniseries on the Reagans after some cable TV right-wingers decried it before even seeing it. Nice stewardship of our public airwaves (hey, no snickering!).
If this is going to be the stand taken by big media -- Bush positions are OK; opposing ones are too controversial -- then why hold elections at all? So why don't we apply CBS' policy to the game itself? What if, when the Patriots line up against the Panthers on Sunday, CBS dictates that New England can play -- but only if they promise to refrain from tackling their opponents?
Even Madder Cows -- The cows of Switzerland are soon to be famous for more than just the great dairy products they produce. It was reported in last month's issue of Utne Reader that a Swiss firm, the Cow Placard Company, is helping its clients to milk every available opportunity for advertising. Hoping to promote products to those driving or walking by cow pastures, the company paints advertisements right on the flanks of those Swiss heifers.
Comparison Shopping -- Mainstream media love to report the horse-race aspects of the presidential race, citing unreliable polls more than the candidates' positions and offering their almost-always-wrong predictions about the outcome of elections. They seldom let us simply listen to these potential presidents. So if you're feeling a little confused about where the presidential candidates stand on issues, you're not alone.
Here's the perfect Web site to help clear up the fog of punditry: www.presidentmatch.com. On this site, you can compare all the candidates side by side on every issue, from tax cuts, gun control and welfare reform to what will happen with the troops in Iraq, NAFTA and Cuban embargoes.
Publication date: 1/29/04