It’s all our fault.

Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor is Jabba the Hutt, the grotesque “Star Wars” villain. Secretary of State Cathy Cox is a disembodied talking head who can’t get her troops in line.

Welcome to the brave new world of high-tech political assassination, where back-stabbing blogs, scathing cartoon skits and slander served up online are the weapons of choice.

In Georgia’s high-profile Democratic primary race for governor between Cox and Taylor, a smash-mouth battle is already being played out on the Internet, where buzz can be used to bash your opponent in ways unfit for more traditional attacks. It’s cheap. It’s effective. And it has a life span longer than Jabba.

“There’s no regulation. There’s no objective standard for truth. There’s unlimited ways to get away with just about anything.” said John Zogby, a New York state-based political pollster. “It’s here to stay, and it’s growing by leaps and bounds every election year.”

I don’t see what the big deal is. Clearly the videos referenced in the article and shown on Peach Pundit are tongue-in-cheek and while they make a political point, they’re relatively harmless. The Wikipedia incident is another matter entirely, mostly because Wikipedia tries to be accurate and evenhanded – and bloggers weren’t even involved, Cox’s campaign manager was.

The article mentions that the Taylor parody is of unknown origin, but Rick Dent takes credit for the Cox conference call parody. Dent also admits having dealings with nefarious people like Andre in Atlanta someone at Peach Pundit:

Rick Dent, Taylor’s campaign spokesman, said he and others in the campaign created a Cathy Cox vignette for “their own amusement.”

The ad parodies a conference call last week put together by the Cox campaign to poke holes in Taylor’s claim that he sponsored the HOPE scholarship.

“When I saw it, I thought it was so funny that I thought we should share it with everybody,” Dent said. He said he placed it on a blog and then sent it to reporters.

Dent said that while the video was aimed mostly at political insiders, the Internet is an important campaign tool — from official campaign Web sites with advertising spots to blogs.

“It’s a brand-new way of trying to inform and influence the public about what you’re doing,” Dent said.

Dent said the campaign has been in contact with popular Georgia political blogs such as peachpundit.com and georgiaunfiltered.blogspot.com.

I don’t think the blogosphere had degraded the political process, actually, I think it’s improved it. There have always been below the belt political attacks and there always will be.

Read the entire article here.

5 comments

  1. Rusty says:

    Buzz, I agree. The video was totally harmless, and that particular article reeked of a “oh God, a free market of ideas is going to put me out of a job… please Government, stop the big bad bloggers!” vibe.

  2. Fiddes says:

    Yeah, those parody ads are totally harmless.

    What I find funny are the actual ads. Take, for example, the “Andrew” ad on Mark Taylor’s website. Evidently, there are babies crawling unattended around the floor of the Senate while it is not in session as Taylor looks on from his perch. They also, evidently, like to crawl down school hallways with him, no doubt to encourage their parents to cast a vote in his favor. Who knew Georgia babies where so upwardly mobile?

  3. Tim Saler says:

    The blogosphere is no more or less dirty than any other political venue. People spread both truths and untruths with either nasty or laudatory intentions through all sorts of media–television, newspapers, word of mouth, the Internet.

    The way that these “professionals” always seem to blame the supposed degradation of American politics on the blogosphere just says to me that they don’t realize that they themselves are at least equally as guilty as anybody else.

    Politics has always been dirty, and it will always be dirty. Why? Because as long as human beings are running for the seats and voting in the elections, there will be things to get nasty about. Every person makes mistakes, and mistakes make for great political fodder.

    I believe it was Harry Truman who said “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!” No one made these guys run for office, no one made them have a public life.

    Admittedly what happens outside of their candidacies and the time during which they’ve held public office ought to be off limits (for example, the story about Mark Taylor’s son, or let’s say if a candidate himself happened to get apprehended on a DUI in college perhaps), but everybody knows that’s not going to happen. Nobody gets any breaks.

    Deal with it–either fight back or don’t say anything. Whining in public that things are so unfair just doesn’t cut it.

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