Watching Commercials: Your Civic Duty

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Check this out. Apparently the White House has set up a site called Fatherhood.gov, and among other tips for high quality male parenting it suggests watching a ball game on TV with your kids and then chatting with them about their lives during commercials. To encourage high quality chatting, however, the site suggests muting the commercials, and Ira Stoll is outraged:

Suppose I work at an advertising agency and earn my living making commercials, or own a company that has just invested millions of dollars in those commercials in the hope of winning customers and making a profit? Suppose I own a television network that makes its money by selling those commercials? Suppose I am a taxpayer who has just shelled out major bucks for the Army or the Census or some other branch of the government to buy these commercials, only to have another branch of the government instruct Americans not to listen to the same commercials my tax money was just spent to purchase. If I had any advice for fathers, it would be to mute the ballgame and turn up the volume for the commercials, or turn off the tube altogether and go play a game with your child. But now the government wants us to mute commercials? Really.

Wow. I understand that Stoll is probably still cranky over the failure of the New York Sun — and so am I, since I liked their crossword puzzle — but seriously. Muting commercials is your beef against Barack Obama and his socialist minions? And conservatives wonder why the rest of us think their entire movement has gone stone crazy?

(Via Jonathan Chait.)

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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