Jewish World Review May 9, 2002 /26 Iyar, 5762
Showing commitment to democracy,
Pakistan's leader runs negative ads
General Musharraf Promises Mean, Dirty Anti-Musharraf Campaign
In the wake of criticism that last week's Pakistani referendum fell somewhat short of
a truly democratic election, Pakistan's leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf demonstrated
a new commitment to democracy this week by airing a barrage of mean, negative
campaign ads attacking himself.
A typical anti-Musharraf spot, devised by Musharraf himself, shows the Pakistani
leader caricatured as a smelly flounder.
"They say that a fish stinks from the head," the narrator says. "Something's fishy in
Pakistan - isn't it, General Musharraf?"
Some critics charge that Musharraf's excoriation of himself in negative campaign
ads is purely symbolic, but the Pakistani leader went out of his way to prove them
wrong this week, challenging himself to a debate and openly taunting himself in
"Pervez Musharraf is afraid to debate me!" Musharraf roared at a rally of supporters
in Karachi on Monday. "Why? Because he is a Nancy-boy, that's why!"
David Crewson, a pollster at the Institute for Public Policy at the University of
Minnesota, says that Musharraf's campaign against himself, as dirty as it may seem
at times, will be good for Pakistan in the long run.
"The most recent surveys show that Pakistani voters are turned off by the negative
tone of the campaign, and that less than a third of them may actually turn out to vote
in the next election," Crewson says. "These are signs that Pakistan is well on its
way to becoming a modern democracy."
JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for Newsweek.com, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author, most recently, of "Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" and "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.
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© 2002, Andy Borowitz