"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

An overshot

Yes, the new anti-Dino Rossi video by Washington Democrats was way over the top, and because of one element that involved not a single word spoken or written, or even an image. This could be a first, an ad gone very bad because of the theme music.

Everything but for the theme music seemed to be more or less in bounds. It is true that Rossi, the Republican running again this year for governor, is very close to the Building Industry Association of Washington, and the BIAW has been a major funder and supporter. The ad’s text and clips make the point powerfully.

But then they play that unmistakable Sopranos music behind it. Intended to suggest someone’s mobbed up here? (You have to ask: Would the idea even have arisen had the candidate been named Ross instead of Rossi?)

Kelly Steele of the Washington Democrats said the music wasn’t intended to suggest any such thing: “It’s a catchy song, which we thought jibed stylistically with our communication about Rossi’s designated attack squad – the BIAW – who continue to pour millions into false and misleading attack ads against Gov. Gregoire.” Just coincidence, apparently, that particular catchy song came from a program about Italian mobsters.

The ad has been taken down, according to Seattle Post-Intelligencer blogging, evidently to be re-themed.

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