McConnell column gets some response; let’s take one last look at the situation
by Justin McGill, General Manager -- jmcgill@cadizrecord.com
Apr 02, 2014 | 170 170 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week’s column generated a bit of response – not unexpected, considering the subject matter. Seriously, how often will I get the chance to write about politics and Kentucky basketball in the same piece?

(We could touch on the proposed renovations to Rupp Arena and how it looks like the state government is not going to allow the funds for the project to go through. Maybe another time.)

A refresher: An advertisement for Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell was released last week in which an attempt was made to include video clips from UK and the University of Louisville’s recent national championship teams. An error led to a clip of a Duke team being used instead of Kentucky. When the error was caught, that clip was replaced with a clip of current Wildcat player Julius Randle, which led to UK sending a cease-and-desist order to McConnell’s campaign because using current players in an ad is an NCAA violation.

One of my points – it was even in the headline – was that such a mistake could cost McConnell re-election. Not that it should or that I hope it does, but that it could.

I don’t necessarily think it’s right that this error could have an effect on the election, but I know that voters have changed their minds over less. I imagine a large number of UK basketball fans are fanatical enough to try to oust McConnell because of this “insult.”

Which candidate is selected should be based on merit and ability, not on who can say and do things that make more voters happy. By that token, one could question McConnell’s campaign for using those video clips at all, regardless of the Duke error and the potential violation that arose when the error was “fixed.”

One of the questions I received asked if an election should be decided over a basketball game. Of course, the answer is “no.”

But, if McConnell wants to use images of two of our state’s basketball programs in his campaign ads, he opens the door for criticism for it.

In other words, it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it matters because he – or his campaign; whoever – made the conscious decision to use the clips.

Does it matter enough to sway voters? That remains to be seen. Should it? I don’t think so.

***

Before the firestorm surrounding McConnell’s ad spread last Tuesday morning, I’d already written another column and decided to pull it in favor of what was published.

What was the topic of the other column? Glenn Beck.

It’s probably a good thing that the McConnell situation arose because I’m about two months late to the party on this Beck story, so it probably didn’t deserve an entire column.

Here it is in a nutshell for those who don’t know. In late January, Glenn Beck was on Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show and apologized, in his own words, “Because I think I played a role unfortunately in helping tear the country apart.”

He was talking about the fear-mongering he spewed during his few years as host of his Fox News show. His apology came nearly three years after he left Fox News.

I’ve written about Beck quite a bit over the years, but I’m not saying “I told you so.” It’s just another reminder to stop and think when you hear someone say something. If you completely agree with something, it doesn’t make it right. If you disagree, it doesn’t make it wrong.

Long story short: The truth is out there, and if you’re only listening to Fox News, CNN or the like, you’re not getting all of it.

Justin McGill is general manager of The Cadiz Record and can be reached by email at jmcgill@cadizrecord.com.
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