The Washington Post wins.

The Super Bowl was, not to put to fine a point on it, a snoozefest. That teams who were there by virtue of bad calls back down the line only exacerbated my annoyance when they then produced one of the most boring games I’ve seen in the past few years, let alone Super Bowls.

Even the commercials failed to make much of an impression on me. (Although it is nice to know that Anheiser-Busch is using so much wind power. Not that I drink the stuff myself, but maybe it will be a model for other compnies.)

Except for the Washington Posts’s.

The two things I liked about it most (aside from Tom Hanks narrating; the man could add gravitas to the phone book)…

  1. They showed journalists from other media outlets, such CNN and msnbc. This was an ad about the importance of journalism, not just the Washington Post.
  2. When they talked about “dangers to our country,” they did not show the twin towers on fire. Instead, they showed the second largest terrorist attack in U.S. history, the bombing of the federal office building in Oklahoma City.

There are only four “Do you remember where you were when…” moments in my life: 9/11, Columbia, Challenger, and Oklahoma City. I remember the pictures of the fireman carrying the body of the child out of the smoking day-care center. (If there is a hell, I hope Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are sitting on a bench right next to the 9/11 terrorists.) I recognize that this may resonate with me more than some others because by that time we were a NASA family, but it still seeped into the national consciousness to the point that it is referenced in the musical Rent.

When people talk of terrorism, they far too often think only of Islamist based terrorism. They forget how horrible the militias and white supremacists and neo-Nazis can be. How they pose just as much threat to the country as dangers from abroad.

Oklahoma City is exhibit number 1 of that fact.

And on Sunday, the Washington Post reminded us. And they reminded us of the price journalists pay for letting us all know what we need to know to fight the good fight.

Democracy does indeed die in darkness.

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