As the Associated Press’ Liz Sidoti reported yesterday, a conservative group called Citizens United has run an ad critical of John Kerry that parodies MasterCard’s “priceless” commercials. (Ralph Nader put out a similar parody in 2000, attacking his opponents.) In the ad, an announcer says:

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry. Hairstyle by Christophe’s: $75. Designer shirts: $250. Forty-two-foot luxury yacht: $1 million. Four lavish mansions and beachfront estate: Over $30 million. Another rich, liberal elitist from Massachusetts who claims he’s a man of the people. Priceless.

That shot is as cheap as they come, and Sidoti’s report on it gave her an opportunity to look to the Kerry camp for a response. Had she done so, she might have been privy to this competing parody, which Kerry spokesman David Wade emailed to the Los Angeles Times’ Nick Anderson and other reporters:

The cost of the Bush economic plan: 3 million jobs lost. The cost of the Bush Medicare bill: $139 billion giveaway to big drug companies. A new president who will reverse George Bush’s radical direction? Priceless.

That’s not the height of enlightened political discourse either, but it seems only fair that if Sidoti is content to play stenographer for Republican attack ads, she ought to do the same for the Democrats.

Instead, she merely quotes David Bossie, who heads the group that produced the anti-Kerry parody, piling on: “The vitriol that’s being used by the Left in their hatred of the president — and the man himself — seems to come through in their ads. We wanted to counter that.”

Brian Montopoli

Brian Montopoli is a writer at CJR Daily.