The opinion piece below contends that Pizza Hut’s offer of pizza for life to anyone who asks the candidates whether they prefer pepperoni or sausage cheapens the electoral process. I didn’t think that was possible. Our owners are shelling out $2 billion in marketing expenditures to convince us that one pizza is better than the other pizza. The truth is that they are both baked in the same oven, with the same ingredients. They just have a different topping, to give the appearance of choice. I think a marketing gimmick is a perfect analogy for our electoral process. The two pizzas were chosen for us by the people who run the country. They have us fill out questionaires, pretending to care what we think about their products, but they are thrown into the trash. They don’t care what we think. They will tell us what we like. And they will sell us the product.
You will learn more from reading a Pizza Hut box than you will from watching tonight’s presidential debate. You will be treated to marketing slogans that have been approved by focus groups. Sound bites and promises that can’t be fulfilled will be the order of the day. Enjoy the pizzas tonight because you are going to pay the price tomorrow.
Opinion: Pizza Hut debate offer cheapens election process
SOME 67 MILLION people tuned into the first presidential debate on Oct. 3, and that’s the kind of number that makes marketers stand up and salute.
That number is certainly why Pizza Hut wants to give a lifetime of free pizza — or a check for $15,600 — to anyone who asks a really inappropriate question of either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney during their live town hall debate on Tuesday.
Relax. It’s nothing obscene, in the get-you-tape-delayed-on-TV sense.
Pizza Hut just wants to know whether the candidates prefer sausage or pepperoni on their pies.
NOW, SOME of you may remember when MTV got a teenybopper to ask Bill Clinton whether he wore boxers or briefs in 1992. It was a groaner at the time, but most people shrugged it off because it was on MTV, after all, and mostly harmless — aside from making everyone think about Bill Clinton’s underwear.
This issue with Pizza Hut is different. Much different.
This time, we have one of the mega-corporations that already enjoy an inordinate amount of influence on U.S. policy inserting itself into an arena that should remain free from opportunistic profit grasping.
Say what you want about the Clinton question — at least it wasn’t instigated by Fruit of the Loom.
We’re not marketing a consumer product this year.
We’re tryingto elect a president of the United States of America.
And we need relevant information to make good choices amid political campaigns that frequently lie and distort; campaigns run by operatives openly hostile to the notion of truth and fact-checking; post-truth campaigns that rely on a media mostly content to echo the lies and the let the voters sort it out.
One of the reasons people had a problem with the moderation of the Oct. 3 debate is that Jim Lehrer never forced an ‘are you for real?’ follow-up to the statements from either candidate.
It seems unlikely that the “sausage or pepperoni” question will make it through the debate moderation.
WE SUPPOSE Pizza Hut will achieve its goal, to some extent, even if it doesn’t. We suppose we’re helping just by bringing it up.
But it was worth it just to point out the obvious: National political campaigns have already achieved a regrettably sufficient degree of farce and cynicism.
We don’t need naked profiteering piled on top, like so much mozzerella.
— Chambersburg Public Opinion