Cultural Revolutions

A New Campaign

Donna Shalala, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, recently said at a press conference: "We have the knowledge and the technology to prevent the spread [of AIDS]. What we have lacked until now is the political will." The press conference was held to introduce the latest government-sponsored nightmare: a series of commercials, putatively designed for AIDS prevention, which openly advocate, for the first time in a federal government program, the use of condoms "consistently and correctly." The ads are targeted at young adults aged 18 to 25 and are part of larger "community-based" crusades to make the world safe for promiscuity. All the major television and radio stations have agreed to run the ads, although only NBC and FOX have agreed to do so without any restrictions on the time or content of the advertisements, a fact that caused an outburst of applause from the reporters covering the press conference. Some stations, in an attack of conscience, agreed to run the more explicit ads only after tags promoting abstinence are added. Even with these minor alterations, the response to the condom commercials is a striking contrast to the networks' almost-total rejection of a series of pro-life spots funded by a private foundation.

The ads themselves, designed by the firm of Ogilvy & Mather South for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, contain various scenes not...

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