Pubdate: Sat, 22 Feb 2003
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2003 The New York Times Company
Author: Arianna Huffington,
Bookmark: (ONDCP Media Campaign)


To the Editor:

In "Did My Car Join Al Qaeda?" (Op-Ed, Feb. 16), Woody Hochswender seems to 
miss the point of the ads run by the Detroit Project, a group that I 
co-founded. He has obviously fallen victim to an epidemic of 
literal-mindedness that is sweeping the country. The use of exaggeration to 
make satirical points is a venerable tactic in the tradition of Jonathan 
Swift: savage humor at the service of passionate conviction, intended not 
to provoke laughs but social change. Irreverence with a purpose.

Would Mr. Hochswender have also fumed about the outlandishness of Swift's 
"modest proposal" that Irish babies be sold for food?

Our spots were a parody of those outrageous drug war ads that the Bush 
administration has flooded the airwaves with. They were intended to push 
the envelope and grab the viewer by the throat, to break through the 
information overload clutter and spark a national conversation about 
S.U.V.'s, fuel efficiency and oil independence. Does anyone doubt that they 

ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, Los Angeles, Feb. 20, 2003
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