Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Foundation For A Better Life

There's a commercial which regularly airs on Fox. It involves the kid who gets "lost" at the symphony. His parents briefly panic but as the curtain opens, little Tommy is on the main stage playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Anyhoo, the pianist enters and encourages him to continue playing. He chimes in as the crowd relishes in the spontaneity. At the end, they both take a bow.

I'm not kidding or trying to be facetious. This commercial evokes some pretty powerful emotions. If it had an inspirational effect on me, I can't even imagine what it might do to others.

It got me to thinking though - just exactly what is this "Foundation for a Better Life?" Their spots on Fox run virtually non-stop. They have others too.

There's a white emo-kid hanging at the bus stop with an older black lady. As she gets on board the bus, he runs off with her purse. He cuts through back alleys, leaping over puddles, dodging dumpsters... His final destination: he makes it to the next bus stop. When she gets off, he hands her the purse. She's mildly appreciative. Then some cops say "Good work, kid!" and offer him a doughnut. Also, a pretty good commercial. Although, I do wonder why the woman needed to get on the bus just to travel a couple blocks. And why wasn't she concerned about her lost purse? I would have been yelling at the driver, "Let me off! Let me off!" Hypothetically, let's say she was unaware the she had left her purse behind (highly unlikely). She said, "You don't know how worried I was." But look at her expression as she exits the bus. She doesn't appear even remotely phased. And she didn't appear that appreciative either. I remember one time my mother left her purse at a gas station. We were gone about 10 minutes and she started freaking out. We returned to the original location and they had the purse at the register. My mom thanked them profusely and tipped them as well (it was either a 20,50 or a 100 - I don't know for sure, I was only 10 yrs. old or so at the time). The woman in this commercial didn't even offer a reward. At the end, all the kid gets is a doughnut from some cops (kind of peculiar - "Nice move kid, wanna doughnut?")

These commercials all seem to promote universal themes - honesty, compassion, teamwork, trustworthiness, etc. It got me to wondering. Who's spending all this money on this incessant commercial onslaught? Well, it's a guy named Philip Anshcutz. He's a behind-the-scenes industrialist worth about 7 billion. Forbes ranks him as the 34th wealthiest American. He has an incredibly diverse power base. He started in the oil industry but quickly expanded into telecommunications (Qwest), sports franchises (Lakers & several soccer teams), entertainment venues and a plethora of media outlets. He's also a major player in our very own Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale business.

He's known as an "Evangelical Christian" who prefers to maintain a VERY low profile. He was a major campaign donor to the Bush campaigns. So I began to wonder, what other politicians has he bankrolled and will actively promote in the future. Bingo! You guessed it - Mitt Romney. Truth be told, he probably donates to all of them. But Mitt is probably the best bet for the Republican party since they always go with the establishment candidate. The problem with Mitt - if it's a crowded field, he won't fare too well in Iowa (too many flip flops and the rural mid-westerners won't trust a Bostonian). And most Republican primary voters in South Carolina fear the Mormonathon angle. He'll probably take New Hampshire.

My point though - Phillip Anschutz IS the Fox propaganda machine. The Fox network IS the base of the Republican party. If you want to know who the Republicans will nominate in 2012, find out who Phillip Anschutz is backing. He might have a change of heart, but Anschutz will be the determining factor in who gets the nomination. And you locals thought it would be Bob Nutting who had the final say.

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