Democratic Party PAC Uses Newman Character From ‘Seinfeld’ to Defend the Postal Service and Instead Confirms the Criticisms

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

 

This was an un-brilliant idea that became even dumber in its execution.

Recall back in August when the world was supposedly ending when it was alleged that President Trump was attacking the postal service, all in the name of vote suppression? Well that has become part of the growing list of ”bombshell’’ controversies to come out in recent months, all of which have withered to rapid deaths with the infusion of facts. 

Somebody should alert the razor sharp minds over at the political action committee called PACRONYM, as they seem more than content to continue repeating many of the disproven claims that have become stamped out by the delivery of reality. The people behind the PAC felt they needed to get word out in defense of the post office as well as those esteemed heroes on the delivery routes, but they did so in the most obtuse fashion. Just for fun let’s conduct a breakdown of the many ways this political outreach failed.

     CASTING

Actor Wayne Knight has made a career out of his corpulent appearance and comedic skill at playing smarmy characters. He has appeared in major films like ”Dirty Dancing’’, and as the corrupt computer programmer who unleashed the thunder lizards in ”Jurassic Park’’. He is best known however for his recurring role on television on ”Seinfeld’’, playing the insufferable and completely slothful mailman Newman. PACRONYM has tabbed Knight to reprise his role here for their public service announcement in defense of the mail service.

Yes, he is skilled to speak to us on the subject — he is not a postal worker, but he has played one on TV.

 

I am certain at some very early stage of development Knight’s name was brought up and thought to be a sterling idea. His is a well known character, he’s funny, and will deliver a certain level of ironic gravitas to the PSA. Yet it never dawned on any of the Red Bull-infused minds at PACRONYM that they were using as their spokesman someone recognized as the very epitome of postal incompetence, the very issue they intend to combat with this spot.

Newman was known throughout the series to engage in all manner of questionable postal activities. He has been shown to deliver fish on his route, staying home if it rains, hoarding bags of undelivered mail in a storage locker, and even having Jerry operating his mail route. Newman has claimed that no mail carrier has ever delivered more than 50% of their assigned letters and parcels. This — THIS is who the PAC thought would be the ideal face for their defense of the postal system.

Yes, it is all done with a severe dose of humor, but you are unlikely to convince anyone while presenting to them the very face of exaggerated postal ineptitude.

          CONTENT

In the video, after wryly greeting us with a ”Hello, zip codes…’’ Knight/Newman alludes to there being a systematic, premeditated assault on the mail system by President Trump. His list of accusations includes: 

  • Trump ordered the mail to be slowed down (something SNOPES tried mightily to prove but could not)
  • Missing mailboxes (these stories have been routinely debunked
  • Locked mailboxes  (These are in place to prevent mail theft, and have been for years.  )  
  • Decommissioning sorting machines to delay voting by mail (there were varying explanations, from magazine sorters removed to upgrade sorters installed. The postmaster suspended all machine removals until after the election, meaning in some cases outmoded machines will be sorting the influx of ballots.) 

Seems the intent of this public service announcement is to mislead the public.

MESSAGING

In the course of the comedic delivery Knight/Newman displays a number of actions and words in character which defy the very purpose of this PSA. While trying to sell us on the sanctity of the postal service and the nobility of the workers we are shown repeated examples of the very behaviors over which most people have concerns. 

  • Knight/Newman begins his diatribe based on news he supposedly read in a month-old Time Magazine from his postal satchel. More ridiculous was he says this just before mentioning that it is Trump who wants to slow down the mail. Uh…yea…
  • Knight/Newman undercuts his own expertise by saying he is not political, the last time he voted was for a Baskin Robbins flavor of the month. Yet…he is delivering a message on how sanctified voting is for everyone.
  • He pledges the people wearing the blue uniforms will do their solemn best to see to it our ballots are delivered. He then promptly plucks a package from his bag and violates postal laws by opening it and consuming the cookies inside.
  • At the very end of the clip graphics come up with the web address Showuptovote.com. So after a passage of hailing the magnificence of the mail system they tell us to show up and vote in person?

 

As far as this being a message to deliver to the voters how protected and verified their voting by mail prospects will be this was an utter failure. It manages to not only contradict itself but it instead sends a message of unease and confusion, something that we are seeing taking place already in the news with repeated stories of postal screw-ups and incompetence. 

For a public service message meant to calm our concerns it manages to do the opposite — it basically proves this election will be a complete fiasco of epic proportions.