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Viral Email Featuring Goofy Porn Interview Misses Point

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colbert.jpg They say all publicity is good publicity. Still, I'm not sure why a Congressman running for re-election would want to send out an email promoting a parody interview during which Comedy Central's Reaganite-spoofing Stephen Colbert continuously insists that his district is a bastion of pornography.

I got a note from online political consulting company Advocacy, Inc. today promoting the company's email management services which were employed to send a message to over 11,000 people on behalf of Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman, who represents California's San Fernando Valley:


"We may not be as funny as Stephen Colbert, but we would love to talk to you about creating and distributing your own video email, expanding your list, or strategizing how else you can reach out to your online members in the upcoming months. Video email is too good of an opportunity for any campaign or official office to pass up--and Advocacy Inc. is here to help you maximize its potential."

Sherman's message linked to a TV Eyes transcript and video clip of the interview. Here's a bit of the interview as featured in the transcript:

Colbert: Are people ever shocked when they find out this mild-mannered man represents the largest porn industry in the united states?

Sherman: Sir, I don't know what you're saying. If you're claiming that the San Fernando Valley's had a pornography industry, I have no idea where you got that.

Colbert: Oh, no, I'm not claiming. I'm just repeating it….I've seen this t-shirt before in the movie "Hot Young San Fernando Valley…." The San Fernando Valley has seen more tail than a toilet seat.

OK, I get how this might make Sherman seem more hip to some voters, but to me it's just another example of political campaigns missing the point by thinking that goofy viral=votes. I don't think anybody's proved that yet, and I'd be surprised to see this sort of thing ever making a difference in terms of getting people to the polls or swaying votes.


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