News Outlets Mostly Ignore Dunham Ad, Controversy
The release yesterday of an Obama for America ad featuring Lena Dunham discussing her "first time" in a voting booth caused a flare on Twitter yesterday, but for the most part the major media has ignored the ad and the controversy.
In case you somehow missed it, the ad features the star of an HBO show comparing voting for the first time to losing one's virginity. Conservatives reacted to the ad with mockery and ridicule. For the most part, the target of the outrage wasn't Dunham herself or even the sexual content of the ad, per se. The real issue was that Barack Obama's campaign produced and approved this as an appropriate political outreach to young women. As Ben Shapiro wrote yesterday:
So she chose to do it for the first time with Barack Obama, since he
“cares about and understands women.” In fact, he understands them so
well that he exploits them for insane commercials comparing losing your
virginity with voting. Obama has young daughters. But that didn't stop
him from releasing this commercial. Because this is what Obama thinks of
your daughters. This is Obama's official campaign ad. Paid for
with his campaign money. Distributed by his campaign. If this ad were
any more demeaning to women – who apparently care only about having sex,
if you listen to Lena “You Want To Do It” Dunham -- it would be
produced by Bill Maher and star Bill Clinton.
Oh, wait. That’s Obama’s actual campaign.
Predictably, the professional left ignored all of that and zeroed in on what they saw as the real problem: Conservatives hate sex! TPM's Josh Marshall helped lead the charge on Twitter, "Republicans react to Dunham vid: what part of sex is shameful and gross don't you people understand?!?!" But his real winner was this insight, which combined reaction to the ad to the Mourdock controversy the left has been stoking, "If yr a party that's more comfortable talking about rape than sex, uv got a problem. "
You'd think the sight of a food fight on Twitter might attract the media's attention, but only a few outlets wrote about the ad or the controversy. The Atlantic chimed in twice, as did the Washington Post with two brief pieces. Mediaite mentioned the ad but not the controversy. Huff Post gave it a bit of both. And that's about it.
This is the sort of thing which a Republican could never do. If Mitt Romney's camp issued an ad that compared voting to sex in the same way, we'd have a week of complaints about the ad's misogyny and Photoshops of conservatives doing voter outreach in skeezy panel vans. The major media would wade in and, ignoring the liberal snark that interested them in the first place, discuss the larger issues of sexism. They'd air complaints about a candidate who had only sons reaching out to women in this way, making sure Romney himself was held responsible. In short, the same sort of media reaction we've seen to the Mourdock comments.
But since this is Obama's ad, all we'll hear is that we weren't the target demo. If we were younger and hipper, we'd understand. And, oh yeah, conservatives hate sex. This sort of thing is exactly why the right hates the left-wing media. They save their outrage for questionable calls that go against the home team.