Tuesday, January 01, 2013


John Daly, published by media scold Bernard Goldberg, wants "Conservatives To Use Pop-Culture Messaging." The awkward wording is no mistake; Daly doesn't know what culture is; he seems to think of it as some kind of weapon that'll work for him if only he can wrestle it away from his opponent.

If you doubt me, here's his pitch:
Imagine a series of television commercials, in the format of public service announcements, featuring actor Vince Vaughn. I’m using Vaughn as an example because he’s one of the few, outed fiscal conservatives in Hollywood. He’s also an immediately identifiable celebrity who audiences have an affection for. In his trademark comedic, dapper style, Vaughn throws out some metaphorical explanation of how screwed up our nation’s spending problem is, and how that problem affects each and every one of us. The presentation should be simple, but it should also get across a point that people can relate to – much like the Apple vs Microsoft commercials from a few years ago, or the “this is your brain on drugs” campaign from the 1980s. The series could expand to cover over-regulation, over-taxation, and more. They should be aired not on cable news networks, but during some of the popular, prime-time reality shows.
Better still is his follow-up after the client gives him that "Springtime for Hitler" stare:
It’s the clueless, unprincipled vote that conservatives can no longer afford to concede to the Democratic party when it comes to elections. These people are sway-able, and they’re prime for a wake-up call. Dumbing down the conservative message through the pop-culture world may just be the way of doing it.
Dumb ideas aimed at people you don't respect: A winning formula. Especially if --
...if wealthy, conservative donors truly want to make a difference in public perception and support, they might want to consider backing such a shift rather than just the politicians themselves.
-- the goal is not so much to change minds as to cadge change.


  1. BigHank539:27 PM

    Dumbing down the conservative message--

    And here I always thought Goldberg would be the one to take conservative thought past the Schwartzchild radius and collapse it into a black hole, from which no coherent information can escape.

  2. Ah yes, Vince Vaughn, hero to teens everywhere. Girls want him to ask them to the sock hop and boys want him to teach them how to throw a football. Yeah, you go with Plan Vaughn to win hip, young pop-culture loving voters. That'll work almost as well as writing an op-ed about how you need to win over those shiftless idiots by callously manipulating their love of popular culture.

  3. Malignant Bouffant9:48 PM

    They should be aired not on cable news networks, but during some of the popular, prime-time reality shows.
    Shhhh! No one tell him about the mute button.

  4. Shorter John Doily: "It's unfair and unseemly for liberals to use celebrity to their advantage, so conservatives need  to use celebrity to their advantage."

    Why do I feel like I've read this pamphlet before? 

  5. hells littlest angel10:19 PM

    You must admit that if you want to dumb something down, Vince Vaughn is your man.

  6. chuckling10:25 PM

    Realistically, since one of the big four television networks and a major motion picture studio are conservative owned, they might consider starting their crusade with Rupert Murdoch. Maybe they could get him to dump Simpsons and Family guy in favor of an animated Mallard Fillmore. Or have the kid in Diary of a Wimpy Kid buy a handgun and stand his ground against those skittle kids.

    But of course any clash between corporate and social conservatism is like a clash between an insect and the windshield of a speeding Mercedes with Cayman Island plates on it's way to an orgy in the Hamptons, so they're probably better off claiming all Fox shows as conservative because they are on Fox. That's their best hope. Only hope, actually, short of having any talent.

  7. TomParmenter10:26 PM

    Not to mention fast forward on the DVR.

  8. Derelict10:40 PM

    Yes, if ONLY conservatives could , figure out a really pretty, hip, with-it and catchy wrapper for those year-old shit sandwiches, why they'd fly right off the shelf!
    So much for conservatives having learned anything at all from this last election.

  9. tigrismus10:58 PM

    It’s the clueless, unprincipled vote that conservatives can no longer afford to concede to the Democratic party when it comes to elections.

    Why don't you do what you usually do to win over the clueless, unprincipled vote? You know, give them a committee to head or make them whip or speaker or something.

  10. DocAmazing11:03 PM

    Dumbing down dumb ideas with a dumb spokesman. Brilliant.

  11. So, you've never seen "Family Guy", have you?

    It is an animated Millard Fillmore, only with more poop jokes.

  12. BigHank5311:20 PM

    Grant them points for consistency and focus, though.

    And, let's face it, John Daly has pretty much admitted that dumbing down the original Goldwater dumbness made things dumb enough that his dumb ass could embrace them. Or did I misread him?

  13. calling all toasters11:25 PM

    I can't escape the feeling that as soon as he finished writing this, he cranked his phone on and said "Smithers, get me Rudy Vallee and some chorus girls. We're going to win those Bonus Army doughboys over with their 'two chickens in every pot' routine!"

  14. smut clyde11:41 PM

    It’s the clueless, unprincipled vote

    Let me guess: 27% of the electorate?

  15. BigHank5312:01 AM

    Millard Fillmore doesn't have any jokes, with or without poop.

  16. KatWillow12:29 AM

    The conservative "message" is that our country is slowly collapsing because of Social Security and Medicaid and Food Stamps. Obama-care will be the final nail in the coffin (Multiple wars and staggering gov't & corporate corruption are irrelevant).

    That other countries, and corporations confidently purchasing billions of dollars worth of our T-Bills (at negative interest!) means we must be on the brink of default, even tho we can print money any time we want.

    That companies constantly poisoning our food, air, water and oceans with oil, radiation, vicious chemicals, gene-manipulating, etc. etc. are... gasp! Over regulated.

    Yeah, lets see them dumb THAT down.

  17. Spaghetti Lee12:45 AM

    Dumb ideas aimed at people you don't respect: A winning formula.

    I don't see how you can knock this, Roy. It's worked for most TV execs for years. Still...the heart flutters! I hope Vaughn takes the bait just to see the results.

    "Hi! I'm Hollywood actor Vince Vaughn. Has anyone ever told you about the Community Reinvestment Act of 1974? No? Well, today is your lucky day! Join me, won't you, on a journey through post-industrial real estate economics in the American working class?"

  18. smut clyde1:13 AM

    I was under the impression that there are already people from the entertainment offering endorsements to this politician and that, this policy and that. No-one is *employing* celebrities as frontspeople for propaganda, however (not counting Fox News).

    Perhaps the focus groups showed that Trickle-down Infomercials wouldn't work, except for the purposes of laughter. Perhaps celebrities have been approached, but demanded too much remuneration, realising that prostituting themselves in that particular way was not compatible with a continued career. Seems to me, anyway, that Daly has seen the amount of money to be extracted from rightwing nutbars in exchange for FAILmercials, and wants his turn at the nipple.

  19. Geo X1:24 AM

    It has occasional vaguely joke-shaped things. Hey, whaddaya want, Tinsley has a busy drinking schedule to keep up.

  20. AGoodQuestion2:12 AM

    Well, hero to twentysomethings for about three minutes in 1996.

  21. montag22:27 AM

    It would not be a novel observation to say that dumbing down the already moronic would be an exercise only the current crop of "conservatives" would think worthwhile.

    As for Daly's suggestion for analogues to the "brain on drugs" ad campaign, one must interject: dude, people laughed at those ads, not with them. If they had actually worked, if they weren't viewed as hopelessly clueless, I doubt seriously that the body count in the Mexican drug wars would be as high as it's been lately.

  22. montag22:41 AM

    Trust me--when it comes to dumbing down, these guys are past masters. They got Ronnie Raygun and Little Boots into the Presidency for eight years apiece.

  23. montag22:48 AM

    Maybe they just need to find the right has-been to front for them. After all, Mr. General Electric, Ronnie Raygun, did pretty well at that gig.

  24. mortimer5:16 AM

    There's an obviously better choice, but Daly is probably concerned that Kevin Farley would be too busy.

  25. nanute5:31 AM

    I'd suggest that Daly consider using Victoria Jackson along with Vaughn. This way, the audience can be excused for thinking this is one of those fake Saturday Night Live commercials.

  26. Daly doesn't seem to know what the "conservative message" is. I'm sure it's not easy to follow, since they seem to change it with the wind, but it has definitely been a generation or two since fiscally conservative was good enough for membership in the wingnut tribe.

    Hell, I'm fiscally conservative, as I'm sure anyone on a really tight budget in these days of robber barons and corporate aristocracy must be.

    These fuckers have always been evil pricks, but now I almost pity how absolutely lost they must feel with no principles other than selfishness to live by.

  27. Hell, I've lived without tv for about 7 years now--everything I want to see is on the Internets in some form or fashion.

  28. The technicians who assemble the strip used up the single allotment of industrial j.o.k.e. on the mocking pun of a 19th-Century name. (That still cracks me up--Mallard Fillmore--a duck for president. I should say it quacks me up, right? right?)

  29. satch7:35 AM

    ONE of the big four networks? For a minute there, I thought you were talking about ABC.

  30. satch7:45 AM

    "Throughout the presidential campaign, conservatives regularly chided President Obama for ducking media venues where he would likely be asked substantive questions about serious subjects."

    Let's be fair here, John... Romney WAS invited to appear on The View, and blew them off, sending Ann to duke it out on the "serious" issues instead.

  31. BigHank538:04 AM

    Not only was the idiotic standard of "a guy you'd be comfortable having a beer with" introduced--a standard no ordinary person would use to select anyone more mission-critical than a car salesman--but it was introduced to cover a candidate who quite famously had stopped drinking.

  32. Derelict8:47 AM

    Well,Goldberg has already perfected the knowledge-antiknowledge drive wherein knowledge meets the antiknowledge in Goldberg's head and the two annihilate each other in a burst of pure stupidity.
    Goldberg has used this to power his entire career.

  33. GregMc9:08 AM

    I will spend the rest of my life imagining golfer John Daly wandering around a cubicle farm at Goldberg HQ assuring his coworkers that they are money, baby.

  34. glennisw9:14 AM

    "Dumbing down the conservative message through the pop-culture world may just be the way of doing it."

    Wow. Just wow. Because "Obamacare is a muslim communist plot to take away mah medicare" is just too nuanced to resonate with the populace.

  35. glennisw9:17 AM

    Indeed, and who was known when he was drinking as a mean drunk.

  36. aimai9:37 AM


  37. aimai9:38 AM

    The theme song can be "Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap."


  38. he had me at "dapper."

  39. Kordo9:59 AM

    Drew Carey interviewing Radley Balko's leather jacket.

  40. wileywitch10:00 AM

    Don't worry, when Vince Vaughn sweeps the U.S. off its feets and turns all the blue states to red, Roy will let us know.

  41. wileywitch10:02 AM

    Cue the laugh track.

  42. wileywitch10:07 AM

    His eyes were glass many times on camera. I suspect that if he wasn't drinking he was doing a lot of something.

  43. The_Kenosha_Kid10:24 AM

    This comment is so money and it doesn't even know it.

  44. These people don’t get their news from news organizations or even
    propaganda arms posing as such. They live in the microcosms of their own
    personal lives and absorb their news from whatever
    over-simplified messages happen to trickle down to them through the pop
    culture world. Thus, they often fail to draw a link between the
    challenges they face in life and the decisions being made by their
    elected leaders. They base their vote not on ideology or issues, but
    rather the candidate they find the most personally appealing.

    And that is why we chose Mitt Romney.

  45. Halloween_Jack10:57 AM

    "Hi, I'm Vince Vaughn and I've been promised an ice-cold pitcher of martinis as soon as I'm done with this shit, so shut up and listen, slapnutses of America."

  46. "Thus, they often fail to draw a link between the challenges they face in life and the decisions being made by their elected leaders ...

    "... which has traditionally worked great for our team, but we haven't been winning presidential elections with it recently."

  47. Provider_UNE11:22 AM

    The conservative "message" is that our country is slowly collapsing
    because of Social Security, Medicaid. Food Stamps and Obama Nigger-care

  48. Mr. Wonderful11:38 AM

    "that "Springtime for Hitler" stare..."

    I fucking love that.

    When my friends and I were in our twenties, a young actor pal told us of how his mother had a great idea for the advancement of his career: "You should get on that Johnny Carson show. That would be very good for you."

    Plus ca change. Thanks, John Daly. When people say you're not as savvy as that actor's mom, we'll all know better.

  49. This comment. I like the cut of its jib.

  50. And that is why we chose Mitt Romney.

    Who actually won the election!

    - Jenghazi Rubin

  51. drkrick12:15 PM

    If you could have promised me his next bender would be his last, I would have been happy to have a beer with him.

  52. Halloween_Jack1:15 PM

    AKA the "dry drunk".

  53. Davis1:35 PM

    It's reassuring that they still don't get it and never will.

  54. smut clyde2:25 PM

    Shirley aimai means "Done With Sheep".

  55. I'm seeing "dumbing down the conservative message" as a kind of reversal of Lee Atwater's infamous description of conservative rhetoric, such that one starts out complaining of social welfare spending, then condemning the loss of law and order, and finally just yelling "nigger".

  56. "or the “this is your brain on drugs” campaign from the 1980s"

    Remember how they made that commercial, and then everybody stopped using drugs? Me neither.

  57. Duncan19515:36 PM

    Yes, "dapper" makes me visualize spats and a bowler. Who could resist a cutting-edge turnout like that?

  58. Duncan19515:40 PM

    What I do remember is that it became a big joke. People remembered it while they were toking/shooting up.

  59. Another Kiwi7:29 PM

    "Hey, dummies! Want a decrepit, bitter and grossly unfair ideology that kicks you in the gonads whilst complaining that you suck the life out of them? Vote Conservative!"

  60. Lancelot Link7:51 PM

    It did make it very hip to eat fried eggs while stoned.

  61. Tehanu12:55 AM

    "In his trademark comedic, dapper style,"

    Yep, "comedic" and "dapper" go together like a horse and carriage ... wait a minute, what century are we in again?

  62. Tehanu1:00 AM

    What's interesting to me is his other example, the Apple vs. Microsoft commercials. We (Hubby Dearest) and I always thought those commercials were idiotic, because what kind of moron casts John Hodgman -- John Hodgman! -- as the stupid one of a pair?

  63. Hattie1:01 AM

    Got to keep selling that snake oil, but the suckers don't seem to be buying it any more.

  64. The New York Crank4:30 PM

    What delights me about this Tea Party naivete is the idiotic comment vis-a-vis Vaughn:

    "The presentation should be simple, but it should also get across a point that people can relate to – much like the Apple vs Microsoft commercials from a few years ago, or the 'this is your brain on drugs' campaign from the 1980s.

    The Apple and "brain on drugs" commercials were so powerful because they avoided talking head celebrity spokesman. Instead they were purely visual - the sizzling fried egg a metaphor for the consequences of taking drugs, for example. Or the slightly overweight doofy guy vs. the hip Apple users.

    But hey, let's not walk away from the idea completely. We could supersize Vince on fries for a while, then strap him to a barbecue grill and watch him roast until his farts explode.

    "This is the Tea Party. This is America on Tea Party ideas. Any questions?"

    Well, come to think of it, maybe not. But I do encourage the Tea Party to put Vince on TV as their spokesperson. We all need a good laugh.

    Very Crankily yours,
    The New York Crank

  65. I don't see why an enormous imitation corpse of Charles Bronson wielding an elevator to the sky would not be as effective with the youth vote as a living Vince Vaughn. Who can say no to a giant, towering soap-like cadaver of Charles Bronson giving out free tickets to an elevator to the sky?

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