Los Angeles conservative activist David Horowitz wants to buy a new ad for Seattle's Metro buses. It looks essentially just like the controversial anti-Israel ads that will run on 12 Metro buses next week, only instead of saying "Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work" it will say "Palestinian War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work." Creative, eh?
They paid $2,760 for the actual cost of running the four-week advertisement, but after buying it, a Metro staffer says they immediately contacted KING-5 News in an effort to get buzz going. Now the publicity the group has received is likely worth millions of dollars.
It's an age-old trick called "leveraging", and typically, the more controversial the ad, the better it works. Just think back to all the wacky campaign ads you saw earlier this year, not as actual commercials, but as fodder on broadcast and cable news networks.
The trick, in fact, has inspired King County Executive Dow Constantine to call for a review of whether Metro should even accept political ads like these at all anymore.
In this latest case, as reported by KING 5 News, Horowitz is trying the same tactic. The anti-Palestinian ads haven't even been approved by Metro yet, but already images of them are being flung around online on on TV (ourselves among the flingers).
If Newton's law applied to political advertising, the two opposing signs would cancel each other out, both sides would get to scare people on the street with shocking images and everyone would go home happy.
Obviously, that's not the case. So we'll continue to sit back and watch the public temper tantrums, all while King County's overburdened Metro staff (and through them, you, the King County taxpayer) plays mediator to it all.
We just wish Horowitz would have come up with something a bit more original than replacing the word "Israeli" with "Palestinian" and the picture of a pile of city rubble to a burning bus.
I mean, really?
Israel sucks Palestine blows