Rorschach for Wingnuts

The Power Line guys have shed their superhero names because, well, probably because they were kind of stupid and, let’s face it, giving yourself a nickname is kind of lame (disclaimer: mine was bestowed upon me by the good folks at Salon’s Table Talk and it’s not like mine has some homoerotic overtone like three lawyers I could name). Anyway, the John Formerly Known As Hindrocket is acting a bit more thin-skinned than usual (if that’s possible):

I was reading a Sports Illustrated in the gym last night, when I was startled to come across this ad for Time magazine.


“Know why.” Know why what? Why American soldiers are beaten and dispirited, I guess. Why we’re losing in Iraq. Is there any other way to read this ad? I’ve studied it more than I’d like to admit, and I can’t think of any. If you want to know why American soldiers are defeated and demoralized, read Time.

Admittedly, I can be an obtuse observer of advertising campaigns. On occasion, my son has had to explain beer commercials to me. But I don’t think I’m missing the point of this one. If I am, please explain. In the meantime, this strikes me as a really bad way to sell a news magazine. Defeatism has never gone over well with the American people, and I think all but the most obtuse have figured out by now that we are winning, not losing, in Iraq.

Promoting news magazines in today’s media environment isn’t easy. If I were running one of the weekly news magazines, like Time, I’d try to stake out a niche as the magazine that is on America’s side. I think it would sell. And I also think it would be the gateway to more accurate and balanced reporting.

Now if I were running a weekly newsmagazine I would try and stake out a niche as one that was, above all, accurate which unfortunately may not be on America’s side all the time. That’s the difference between a newsmagazine and say, a newsreport from Karen Ryan.

As for me, I don’t think that we’re winning the war in Iraq (occupation without end, amen) but I didn’t see the soldier as “beaten and dispirited”. I saw exhaustion, relief, maybe even prayer. The obvious point of the ad is “read us to find out what is going on with this soldier and what his story is”, not “look at the loser”. But “John” (if that isn’t just another silly nom de blog) sees loss and defeat. Which isn’t too surprising coming from someone who has to have a child explain beer commercials to him, and you know how postmodern those beer commercials can be.

Then again, that would probably explain why he chose a name like Hindrocket.

Obviously he never asked the kid.

(Added): Well, I see that I was beaten to the punch by Nitpicker Damn. And I was thought I was being all original and stuff…

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....