"Wolf! Wolf!"

Our readers are not suckered in by the empty cries of the big bad Bush-Cheney wolf TV ad -- and so write their own smart, savvy and much better scripts.

By Salon Staff
Published October 24, 2004 8:12PM (EDT)

Oh, boy, isn't the anti-Kerry wolf ad -- blitzing the TV airwaves right now -- frightening? Leave it to the Bush-Cheney campaign to exploit a stereotype that lost its teeth 30 years ago. We knew that you could pen scripts ten times brighter. And indeed you have. Below are five highlights.

Sheep's clothing

The scene opens on a meadow near a tiny village. Suddenly we see a shepherd dressed in liederhosen and holding a shepherd's crook; it's George W. Bush. As quotes from the Bush administration about Iraq, WMDs, uranium and mushroom clouds flash across the screen, shepherd boy Bush begins shrieking "Wolf! Wolf!" Cut to a scene of panicked villagers, rushing to and fro.

The screen goes black, then flashes the words "Later that day." We see George Bush again, though this time, he's wearing a flight suit under his liederhosen. As the screen flashes the words "Yellow Alert! Orange Alert! Red Alert!" we hear Bush yelling "Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!" Cut again to a scene of panicked villagers (though, this time, we notice several people among them who appear calm, and some even appear angry). The scene cuts back to the meadow, and we see shepherds Bush and Karl Rove watching their own "wolves" commercial on a TV monitor, while laughing hysterically. Oddly enough, there's traces of wool around their mouths, and there seem to be a few less sheep in the meadow.

The screen goes black again, then again flashes the words "Later that day." Now George W. Bush looks truly panicked. He has a copy of "My Pet Goat" tucked into his liederhosen. "Wolf!" he screams. "Wolf! Wooooooooolf!" Cut to the village. The villagers roll their eyes and look bored. The camera cuts to an overhead shot, as a bomb with the words "Courtesy of North Korea" falls from the sky. As a mushroom cloud wipes out the village and the meadow, the screen goes black for the final time. The screen stays black for several seconds and then stark white words slowly appear: "George W. Bush. The President Who Cries Wolf."

-- Phil E. Young

Boy who cried

A series of brief scenes of the same young Arab Islamic male. Scene #1: He is a student. Dressed in western style clothes. Watching TV with his friends. On it, Saddam's statue is coming down. The boy smiles. Pleased by this.

Scene #2: Same boy. Same friends. Watching same TV. On it, shots of the looting. Rumsfeld comments on Democracy being messy. The boy's smile fades.

Scene #3: Again same boy. On the TV, we see Bush's famous aircraft carrier landing. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! The boy looks deeply confused. One of his friends (previously another student) enters the cafe dressed as an insurgent. He tries to convince our boy to join up. Our boy refuses him. However, another of the boys there rises, and from his expression makes clear that he is joining up.

Scene #4: Same boy. In his bed at night. Can't sleep. Bombs going off all around. Shaking his house. He's terrified.

Scene #5: Back to the cafe. TV is on. We see the video of the American contractors getting burned alive and torn limb from limb and hung on the bridge. Our boy celebrates this with his friends who are now all dressed as insurgents. A look passes between our boy and the first of his insurgent friends. Our boy gives a simple nod.

Scene #6: Our boy is now dressed as an insurgent. He pulls the mask over his face. He is embraced by his friends. The transition is complete.

Final image: Same time. A group of children are watching this from the corner. One of them is missing an arm. Another has only one leg. They are filled with pride at the sight of the insurgents who are clearly preparing for battle.

Over this, the ads first and only words: " ... AND GEORGE BUSH SAYS THE WAR IN IRAQ HAS MADE YOU SAFER."

FREEZE on a close up of one of the children's faces. Hate filled. Chilling us to the bone.

-- Jason Rothenberg

Snake in the grass

Start with a young couple with baby sitting by a campfire. Faint sound in background. Segue into sequence of Bush in front of Congress: warning yellowcake in Niger ... alternate with snake winding its way toward baby ... Powell at the UN touting false intelligence pictures ... snake ... Cheney on Meet the Press equating Saddam and Al Qaeda ... snake ... Bush at debate 3 saying Kerry's comment was another "exaggeration." Bush saying he wasn't concerned about Osama. Cut to young couple again. "I can't believe we swallowed all those lies the last four years." "I wanted to believe we were following the right leader." Sound of rattlesnake rattles as snake slithers toward baby ... mother turns and throws rock at snake as father grabs up baby. VoiceOver: It pays to never take your eyes off a Texas sidewinder ... .

-- Sandy Huseby

Who's safe now?

Black screen. Voice over: President Bush has the nerve to say John Kerry would make America less safe. But George W. Bush has done next to nothing to make America safer after the 9/11 attacks.

Fade up on shot from plane flying over the mountains of northeast Afghanistan.

Voice over: These hills in Afghanistan are where Osama bin Laden, the man who planned the attacks of Sept. 11, was cornered by US forces -- until the Bush administration let him get away.

Cut to: Shot of containers being unloaded at an American port. Voice over: Bush has spent a fortune and lost over 1,000 American lives in a war that has actually increased the number of terrorists gunning for the US. Meanwhile, he has done absolutely nothing to protect our ports, where 95 percent of the containers coming in to the country remain uninspected ...

Quick cut to images of nuclear plant

Voice over: ... he's left our nuclear plants vulnerable to catastrophic attack ...

Quick cut to images of chemical plant

Voice over: ... and as far as our dangerous chemical plants are concerned, well, George Bush seems as concerned about them as he is about the man who attacked us, Osama bin Laden (Fade up on image of bin Laden, gradually filling the frame).

Voice over: Remember him? He's still running loose while we're bogged down in Iraq. And this is how George Bush says he's keeping America safe? Who does he think he's kidding?

Vote for John Kerry's proven leadership.

I'm John Kerry and let's send the miserable little jackass back to west Texas.

-- John Grooms


Scene 1

It is stormy ... lightening everywhere ... dusk ... wind blowing ... and an old 40s type bus is seen screaming down the highway ... wilderness ... headed down the road where the storm is worse ... very ominous ...

Scene 2

Passengers in the bus ... Mr. and Mrs. American types, older ... mainstream citizens look worried ... Mrs. Magilacutty has two hands on the hand rail in front of her ... she is clearly troubled, anxious ... she says "Dear ... I think we are going in the wrong direction?" Her husband also looks worried, puzzled ... outside the window you can see lightening and things blowing around ... ..ZOOMMMMM ... the bus speeds on ...

Scene 3

Another mainstream older couple looks frightened ... this time it is the man, "a graying Clark Kent type, 40s hat ... earnest, fatherly ... says ... "Damn it. We're LOST!"

A bit of rumbling from the passengers. A little girl, holding her rag doll begins to cry. A young mother speaks up a little louder, looking for sympathy from the other passengers. "Why doesn't he stop and look at the map? ... we've never gone this way before?"

Scene 4

Raining, the camera now looks directly into the windshield ... wipers are going ... it's darkish ... and Cheney is driving the bus ... 40s hat ... crooked smile, a wierd glee to his look, "heh, heh" ... sitting up front on the first seat is GW ... boyish looking, like howdy dowdy ... playing a Nintendo game ... also with a weird look, facial expressions going from blank stare to stupid grin ... behind him are Rummy and Condi ... smiling, reaching over, patting W on the head, "You're the president Georgie"

"I know," he says ... looking even more stupid as Cheney peers to his right, enjoying the scene ... smiling more broadly now ...

Scene 5

Suddenly, a little boy in the back of the bus, looking out the window shouts ... "Look, up in the sky ... " Young man, clean-cut, excitedly says, "Is it a bird? A plane?" A voice from the back, "No ... it's John Kerry!"

Scene 6

Flying down and landing in the center of the road, lightening everywhere, his cape gloriously blowing in the wind ... it is John Kerry, with a big D on his chest. He puts out his hand stopping the bus cold ... screeching, tires smoking ... passengers pour of the bus, Cheney is really pissed, Georgie is crying ... Georgie senior is consoling him.

Scene 7

John Kerry is driving the bus now. Edwards is sitting where Georgie was, also looking young. The bus is heading down another road ... sun in the distance ... passengers looking relieved ... the Repubs in the back of the bus, looking grim, frustrated and angry ...

Kerry says, "Don't worry folks, we are headed in the right direction now ... ."

Fade Out ... Kerry and Edwards both standing with their Super D outfits on ... the flag waving behind them ...

Superman music fades in ... " ... vote Kerry/Edwards ... for truth, justice ... and the American way"

-- Jerry

Salon Staff

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