Super Bowl Political Ads are Cringeworthy!

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A Brief History

On February 4, 2020, we have had a couple days to digest the array of highly expensive television ads pertaining to Super Bowl LIV (played and aired on February 2, 2020).  Among those television commercials were a few in particular that really seem out of place with a sporting event geared toward entertainment.  We take a look at these ill-considered ads…  (Note:  If you are wondering what sort of Super Bowl ads we actually approve of, think about Dachshunds wearing hot dog outfits running toward Ketchup and Mustard and Relish.  Or cute horse and dog Budweiser commercials.  Even “Puppy Monkey Baby!”)

Digging Deeper

President Trump.

The President shelled out the big bucks to try to sell us the idea that he is some sort of reformer of the American Justice system.  He is not.  He used his executive clemency to free a woman, Alice Marie Johnson, from an allegedly way too long prison sentence of life in prison for a “non-violent drug offense.”  Trump commuted Johnson’s sentence after an intercession by faux celebrity Kim Kardashian West.  The President used his act of kindness as “proof” of his commitment to justice reform, a subject he has offered absolutely no constructive ideas or recommendations on.  While we have no problem with the President using his judgement to commute a prison sentence, the fact that he has used his official act for political gain makes it seem as though he is treating Alice Johnson as a political pawn instead of as a human being.  Poor form, and NOT what we watch the Super Bowl for.

Mike Bloomberg.

The Democrat counterpart to the President’s political ad, the other New York City billionaire in the Presidential race, former mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, ran a commercial touting his dedication to disarming the American population.  This is the guy that had rules in place limiting the size of soft drinks!  His ill-considered anti-gun ad was typical of the genre, including claiming about double the actual amount of children killed by guns in American each year.  Just as anti-gunners often claim “40,000 deaths due to gun violence” each year in the US, they disingenuously neglect to mention that about 24,000 of those “gun violence” deaths are suicides.  Of the remaining 16,000 deaths attributable to firearms usage, the gun grabbers ignore all the legitimate self-defense and legal police use of force shootings, as well as accidents.  Murder rates are down, but you would never know it listening to the King of the Nanny State, Mike Bloomberg who desperately wants to tell each of us how to live our lives and is willing to force us to do things his way.  George Kemp, the young African American man that was killed by a gunshot, was featured in Bloomberg’s ad, but Kemp was 20 years old when killed, hardly a child.  Indications are that Kemp was involved in gang related activity and although we do not doubt for a minute the love his mother had for him, and the fact that this victim could well have had many admirable traits, he was hardly a random victim with no connection to his own tragedy. Kemp had reportedly arrived to beat up a 17 year old male when he was shot by the 17 year old’s companion.  Do not expect Bloomberg to discuss any of that!

The NFL.

In an absolutely bizarre case of ambivalence, the NFL itself placed a television ad telling the tale of an African American man unjustly shot to death by a police officer.  Corey Jones, the cousin of NFL player Anquan Boldin, was shot to death in 2015 in a police shooting that resulted in the officer involved being charged with and convicted of manslaughter and receiving a 25 year prison sentence.  The officer was working, though in plain clothes.  Jones apparently thought he was being robbed by an armed man (the officer) and pointed a gun at the cop, resulting in the officer shooting the victim 3 times, killing Jones.  This is the same NFL that will not hire Colin Kaepernick after the former quarterback created a national stir over his refusal to stand for the National Anthem at football games, reportedly as a protest against American police shooting African American men and boys.  The killing of Corey Jones is a tragedy and a tragic mistake, one that was properly handled by our criminal justice system and the police officer that was found to have acted improperly was sent to prison.  We are confused.  Is this not the desired outcome of shootings found to be unjustified?  What does this have to do with the NFL, other than this particular victim was the cousin of an NFL player?  Is the NFL trying to make up for blackballing Colin Kaepernick?  As with the political ads above, this ill-considered ad is NOT what we watch football for.

Bonus Cringeworthy, National Anthem.

The performance of our National Anthem by Demi Lovato was excellent!  Truly a credit to the song itself and the nation.  And the players behaved during its rendition.  But not everyone did!  President Trump engaged in buffoonery during the anthem, fidgeting around and mock-conducting the music while others in his presence respectfully stood with their hands over their hearts.  And to think, this is the guy that blasted the players that were kneeling during the anthem!  The other disrespectful anthem haters were none other than Jay-Z and Beyonce, who likewise did not stand or respect the playing of the National Anthem.  Sure, those two mega-rich types have been sooo mistreated by the United States!  Making things worse, Jay-Z is a partner with the NFL.  It seems perhaps the NFL did not learn the lesson from the big drop in revenue during the kneeling protests.  (See our article, “NFL Viewership Waaayyy Down Due to Protests of National Anthem“)  Again, as with the television commercials, we do not watch a football game in order to be subjected to political ads, statements and social engineering.  Do you?

Question for students (and subscribers): What was your most and least favorite Super Bowl commercial this year?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Loughlin, Joseph and Kate Clark Flora. Shots Fired: The Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, and Myths about Police Shootings. Skyhorse, 2017.

Lott, John Jr. The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies.  Regnery Publishing, 2016.

The featured image in this article, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection photograph by Jaime Rodriguez Sr. of Hard Rock Stadium decorated for the Super Bowl, is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.  This image was originally posted to Flickr by CBP Photography at https://flickr.com/photos/54593278@N03/49452310966. It was reviewed on  by FlickreviewR 2 and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the United States Government Work.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.