Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Notebook: Tim Tebow ad, John Murtha dies, Scott Lee Cohen walks away

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— There are those who are tempted to be snarky about the Tim Tebow ad and the coverage therein. The coverage after the ad was broadcast focuses on the timidity of the ad. “It wasn’t that big of a deal.” So the coverage tells us.

However, the principled point stills remains. Planned Parenthood wouldn’t have been allowed to buy a similarly timid ad. Those who may be on the fence on abortion sees Focus on the Family in a positive light for the ad, though the call to go to the Web site is more important to the pro-life side than the actual ad. Planned Parenthood doesn’t get that same treatment. The issue of fairness is still relevant, and has been ignored. Open it up to all or none.

— Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) passed away. His death wasn’t a surprise; his health had bee failing. The political obituary was complicated as was his political life. That seemed fair somehow.

Murtha, the first Vietnam Vet to serve in Congress, strongly supported the Iraq War but had the courage to change his mind after seeing the light of reality. He took a lot of pork for his district, playing the game but at the same time, making us wonder whether the game needs to be changed.

Murtha had a tie to the Abscam scandal, though not a huge one. He served longer than any representative from Pennsylvania. Murtha was pro-life and pro-labor. He was complicated.

— Outside of Illinois, you likely don’t know who Scott Lee Cohen is. The problem was in Illinois is that we didn’t know who Scott Lee Cohen is. We saw the TV ads and heard the radio spots as he ran on the Democratic side for lieutenant governor. Cohen put on job fairs and far outspent his opponents in the vastly ignored race.

Cohen won the race last week, but dropped out due to a number of allegations, including a domestic abuse arrest, steroid use, tax problems, and child support issues. Cohen had admitted to the arrest almost a year ago, but few were aware of his background.

It would be easy to blame the media for not covering this race more. After all, the spotlight on the lieutenant governor in Illinois is more intense, given that a) there is no lieutenant governor at the moment because of b) Pat Quinn’s promotion to governor to replace the impeached Rod Blagojevich.

In Illinois, gubernatorial candidates don’t run with the lieutenant governor candidates in the primary, but do so in the election. Quinn and Blagojevich never really got along even though they served almost two terms together.

But the media is a little short-handed these days. In Chicago, the papers aren’t even thick enough to line a bird cage. Extra space, extra reporters might have made a difference. Lieutenant governors can become governor. Might be nice to find out something about them before they reach that point.

True, the media still might not have done much with this race. But it would be nice if the media had more foot soldiers.


Written by democracysoup

February 9, 2010 at 10:05 am

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