Donald Trump purses his lips uncomfortably

Lol, Donald Trump Spent $11 Million on a Super Bowl Ad & Everyone Hated It

This from the guy obsessed with ratings.
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image: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sunday’s Super Bowl ads were all over the place, as usual. There were some really great ones (Google’s ad almost makes me okay with them constantly mining my personal data) and some really terrible ones. But the worst of all, according to the ratings and also just general taste, was Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign ad.

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The watch party I was attending broke into loud boos as soon as we realized this was a Trump ad and we weren’t the only ones. According to USA Today’s Ad Meter, which surveys thousands of viewers, Trump’s commercial was the most poorly rated of the entire night. For a man so unbelivably obsessed with ratings, you truly love to see it.

It wasn’t just seeing Trump’s name on our TV screens that elicited such a negative reaction (although that by itself would be enough). This commercial, which centers on criminal justice reform, is also so grossly exploitative.

Alice Johnson had already served 21 years of a life sentence for a first-time nonviolent drug offense when Trump granted her clemency in 2018 after being lobbied by Kim Kardashian West.

“Thanks to President Trump, people like Alice are getting a second chance,” the ad reads. “Politicians talk about criminal justice reform. President Trump got it done. Thousands of families are being reunited.”

Johnson absolutely deserved to have her sentence commuted but Trump hasn’t fixed the criminal justice system, which is what he seems to be implying by having talked about it in the past tense. (This is nowhere near the first time he’s done so, either.) He’s also ignoring all the work done by Kardashian West and the team of lawyers who advocated for Johnson. And at the same time, he fails to mention just how much damage his Department of Justice appointees have done to the criminal justice system while celebrity lobbyists still have enormous sway over him.

Trump has frequently claimed that he’s better for Black Americans and better at criminal justice reform than President Obama was, which is just an incredible rewrite of history.

The very existence of the ad is baffling.

On the bright side, Trump dropped $11 million on an ad meant to brag about himself and everyone hated it.

(via Ad Meter, H/T Pajiba)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.