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November 05 2006

Daniel Dae Kim in "Real Virginians for Webb" video. Kim urges Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia to vote for Democratic candidate Jim Webb for the US Senate this Tuesday.

Okay, I've been down this road before.

I hate any politicization here...I have my politics, you have yours, etc...but check them at the door...jeez, this is so tiresome...
They have just as much a right to campaign as anyone, but... there's a difference between something like Michael J. Fox urging people to vote for a candidate in support of stem cell research and your average celebrity pushing for their local Democrat/Republican because of their fame.
Wow. Refreshing to see a thought-out, well-spoken, rational political ad in this season of slurs, cheap shots, and character assassination. Agree with Mr. Kim's politics or not, you have to admit it's nice to see.
Well I have to say this is a bit dumb(the fact about a famous person campaigning for a politician not the statements), but you know what? From what I heard about the campaigning in the U.S. there are worse problems than having celebrities push for candidates, like I dunno, the damn attack ads that verge on outright lying. I think that situation of constant negative poisonous ads should be stopped, then can look at the celebrity thing. Aren't there anti-libel laws in the U.S anyways ????

[ edited by kurya on 2006-11-05 02:47 ]
Chris - in fairness, the person reporting this is simply mentioning it - they aren't specifying any opinion either way.

I have no problem, personally, with people using their presence to highlight political issues. The future is worth fighting for, and all that. Just not actual, you know, fighting.

Kurya - I saw a documentary on UK TV about the negative campaigning that goes on in the US on TV (which isn't this, by the way), and I was shocked by it.

[ edited by gossi on 2006-11-05 02:51 ]
Aren't there anti-libel laws in the U.S anyways ????

The libel laws are apparently the only recourse the "victim" has in this mudslinging. However, as I understand it (and I have no legal degrees at all), the "victim" must prove that the information is indeed false and that the other person intended malice. And it would be a little difficult to take the high road in such a case if one was also slinging mud. In any case, here is an article about one candidate filing a libel suit this week.


While I certainly understand CiV's position, I must say that I think it is wonderful that DDK has enough fame to be able to try to make a difference, whatever his political beliefs. Even though his visibility is mostly through Lost rather than his 'verse associations, I still think we can take a little fan pride in this.
Adam Baldwin wins the most at representing his poltical beliefs in public forums. I noticed today he has reached eighteen thousand posts on the FOX forum. As my girlfriend put it, I've no idea how he manages to do that and be an actor - that's more posts online than me!
No one ever mentions the surreal Virginians do they?
Adam Baldwin's going to be in a bad mood come Tuesday. Should be fun to see what he posts :)
Simon: As a resident, I can tell you that the surreality goes without saying.
Libel laws are very different here in the US than they are in the UK. The burden of proof is always on the "victim" and can be prohibitively expensive as well as opening the door to all kinds of other public scrutiny so most politicians seem to feel it's a risk worth taking.

The worst thing about negative campaigning, however, really is that it is not meant to get voters to switch to the candidate who is directing the claims but to discourage the voters from coming out at all. In other words, John Doe may accuse his opponent, Jane Smith, of selling babies on EBay and knows full well that this isn't going to make her constituency change their votes to back him. What he is hoping is that it might piss enough of them off or make enough of them doubtful that they stay home on election day making a smaller pool of votes against him.

I don't see this too much as a negative campaign ad--George Allen's racial slur was very well publicly documented--it seems more a "get the vote out" piece directed at a population that typically has a low voter turn-out.
Because a vague disclaimer is nobody's friend, I will admit upfront I happen to agree with Mr Kim's politics. I thought is ad was very tasteful and well done.

I have no problem with any celebrity, be it a liberal, conservative or Kinky Friedman, who takes the time to campaign for a candidate/get involved in politics, and hopes their famous name might make a voter pay attention to an issue.
I like the ad. As marmoset said, it seems to be a clear call to a community to take part in the election...which is what we all need to do. It sure is a lot better than what we have been getting here in New Jersey. OMG. We are just embarrassing. Like we really need our own political candidates presenting us as the stereotyped gangsters that the rest of the country sees us as.

Last week I caught a piece of a national news story about just how low the negative ads have stooped. Of course there was dear old New Jersey leading the pack. There was the aforementioned ad where two badly acted crooks with the worst Italian-American gangster accents I have ever heard, (worse than Saje's ;-) ) talk to each other about how awful it will be for them if a particular candidate does not get elected. Surprise, surprise some of us must not have liked the ad because the guy whose campaign put it out is losing in the polls, though interestingly, not by very much. A friend of mine told me yesterday that as soon as he saw that ad he decided to vote against the guy whose campaign put it out just because it was so out of line. He figured they were both crooks of one kind or another anyway. Ah, the idealism of the NJ voter.

I have never understood why celebrities are criticized for campaigning for an issue or candidate. As American citizens we are all supposed to take part in the political process. I, as a non-celebrity could hand out leaflets at my local shopping center or make a video explaining who I was supporting and why if I so desired. People may say, "Why should I care what you think?" but they would probably not say I was out of line for publicizing my support. Why doesn't a celebrity have the same right, or for that matter obligation? (That was actually a rhetorical question. ;-) )
You Brits have no idea what you're missing when it comes to negative campaigning. This guy is running in my congressional district. It's simultaneously hilarious and terrifying.
OK, Jesterinacast. Now I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone! That THAT is a real campaign ad is really terrifying.

I love DDK's spot.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2006-11-05 07:40 ]
Thanks Jesterinacast. Below the ad is a Fox news report on it. They call him "refreshing" because he speaks his mind. I must admit, his ad would make it really easy to decide whether or not to vote for him.
JesterInACast: "This guy is running in my congressional district. It's simultaneously hilarious and terrifying."

Oh, My Suffering God. I can't believe that ad was for real - Twilight Zone, indeed. It seems like political advertising by way of the Harvard Lampoon. Thirty years ago it would have been, but there's been some standards creep, as we say, since then.

My Sainted Aunt. Wow, it works on me like a tonic. I'll be working harder these next few days to get out the vote, and I think we all know where I line up on these issues.

Leave it to Beaver, huh? Nostalgia for a bleak dystopian vision. How I miss the good old B&W days of HUAC.

"My visions of the future are always pretty much standard issue. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and there are flying cars." -- Joss, TV Guide, 27 December 2 January, 2004

ET: make it clear that the ad I'm referring to above is not the Daniel Dae Kim "Real Virginians for Webb" which was mild indeed, and not what I would consider an "attack" ad -- and I'm happy that he is able to use his celebrity for something he believes in. I'm talking about Vernon Robinson's ad, which would be just silly -- except he's serious.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2006-11-05 09:17 ]
However, as I understand it (and I have no legal degrees at all), the "victim" must prove that the information is indeed false and that the other person intended malice.

*disclaimer* I'm also not a lawyer. But I think that extra dimension of malice is only in the case of public figures (including all politicians) while I think that is indeed different from the law in most other countries, where you just have to be wrong. Here you can claim to be just ignorant or stupid, and usually win.

But you furriners need to understand, also, that we were separate colonies that grew to many more separate states that are still in many legal respects sovereign. Each state has its own constitution and legal code. For the most extreme example, the state of Louisiana, a former colony of France, has the Napoleonic civil code as the basis for its state law, while the rest of the U.S. state codes are based on English common law. The U.S. Supreme Court outweighs all of them, but has jurisdiction only in cases where it is claimed that either federal or state (or lower) law or government action goes against the U.S. Constitution. Our stuff is complicated. And people have to consider all of that, through lawyers, before they sue.

I gave up on DDK's clip after viewing the first 38 seconds over almost 20 minutes. But what I saw certainly seemed mild to be called an attack ad in the current climate.
Interesting. We have a somewhat similar issue here between Scotland and 'England and Wales' (legally Wales has the same system as England though they now have a national assembly with some legislative powers) since Scottish law is based on ancient Roman law (everyday laws tend to be the same but Scots law has a third verdict 'Not Proven' which basically means "You did it and we know you did it but we can't quite prove it (yet)" - which negates the protection of 'double jeopardy' - and an emphasis on natural justice - what's 'fair' can actually influence the judge's verdict as opposed to just what's legal). But yeah, I have heard it said - by a Yank - that the US is in some ways 50 separate countries in varying degrees of proximity sharing a common flag.

(and re: defamation of character, Scots law doesn't distinguish between libel and slander but I think the burden of proof is still on the defendant)

Personally, I have no problems with celebrities voicing their opinions in public, it's their right, same as it's ours. What bothers me is that the voting public actually put more store in an opinion because it belongs to a celebrity. No offence to DDK (or, say Adam Baldwin from the 'other side') but the fact that they're famous makes them in no way necessarily better informed or more qualified to judge than the average person on the street. So really I guess my issue is with the voters who can't be bothered to inform themselves about the issues and just take a Bruce Willis or a George Clooney's word for it.

And I agree that negative campaigns simply remove faith in the political system full stop. It perpetuates the "they're all as bad as each other" type of thinking which is so pervasive today (with some justification since both 'sides' of the arbitrary right/left divide are made up of people and people are very similar, irrespective of politics, but as far as the effects of policies, well, in some cases that couldn't be more different).

(and BTW, as with most things, we're slowly following in the US' footsteps re: negative campaigns. The Tories were dragged over the coals a bit during the last election for these posters among others. JesterInaCast's link was hella disturbing though. Is he actually a mainstream candidate ? That's the sort of thing you might see over here from the British National Party i.e. neo-fascist extremists - i'd provide a link but I won't spread their poison for them, no matter how much they want us to think they've cleaned up their act)
I googled Vernon Robinson and he's a Republican, so yes, mainstream though controversial. *sigh* I was sort of hoping when I watched the ad that he was a LaRouchie or something like that.

Without having had much time to think about it, that "not proven" verdict with no double jeopardy sounds like genius - no mistrials, the judge or jury can just say "not proven" and come back if there's better evidence? That does seem "fair."
Well, I saw the vernon robinson ad, and man that looks like something from SNL, not a real politcal ad. Unfortunately, supposedly, the negative campaigning "works" so everyone will continue doing it. *sigh*. And the fact the someone on the Fox News channel called that ad "refreshing" speaks volumes!
Heavens to Mergatroid--that guy is whacky!

Are there any Vermonters on here? I read somewhere that there is a very interesting race going on up there because the Republican candidate pledged not to do any negative campaigning and the Democratic candidate matched her pledge. I don't even know if it is a Senate or a House race but I am curious how it is panning out.
"But yeah, I have heard it said - by a Yank - that the US is in some ways 50 separate countries in varying degrees of proximity sharing a common flag."

Hmmm, that is a bit of an overstatement, but might make things less confusing if it weren't. ;-) The States' rights vs. Federal rights has been a big controversy from day one and is often used as a cover for other things. Throughout US history proponents of each have found a sudden need to support the other. Some groups, for instance used to campaign on the idea of States' rights, local control, and keeping the Federal government out of people's lives. However, lately many of the same groups have been running on the idea of Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage, flag burning etc. Not to be cynical (yeah right) but basically if a group thinks their issue can get passed locally but the rest of the country will be against it, they are all for States' rights and the federal government not telling people what to do but as soon as that group thinks that they have a majority in the country but a minority in many States they suddenly want a Federal law or Constitutional Amendment. Human nature I guess.

As far as the DDK video, I did some on line research on the comments etc. and the video of the comments and an interview with the candidate explaining and apologizing for any insult are both online.
Yeah, Vernon's the official Republican candidate here. He even won his primary by 4 times his opponent's vote. Fortunately, I think his race has a silver lining--we'll be able to tell, once and for all, just what percentage of the population here is totally nuts.
I'm not going to tell fellow U.S. fans how to vote, but I am going to tell you to vote. It's your right - use it.
Yeah... please vote!! I think there is still time left on the western coast to vote...I think..
Don't know if anybody's still reading this, but...

WOOHOO!

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