Opinion: On That Horrendous NSA Ad

9/21/2016 by Dylan James Harper

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It’s gotta be a tough job marketing for the National Security Agency. Between dealing with repeated scandals, accusations of constitutional infringement, and trying to get revenge on The Simpsons, it’s hard to imagine they even had time to make a careers advertisement, and yet...

Watch it. Bask in it. Behold it. Yes, this taxpayer funded, University of Phoenix ad rip off is a commercial for the National Security Agency. The same NSA that collected millions of phone records, that hid data mining programs from congress, and that’s action resulted in the creation of another terrible Oliver Stone movie, is attempting to recruit the next generation of data miners. Gather round children, let’s all marvel at the highlights of this monstrosity.​​​

(Caption: Even she looks bored at the prospect of “kind of” protecting the nation)

Stunning. With such great lines as “a new sense of urgency to...kind of protect the nation” I’m sure Facebook and Google are going to be losing employees in droves, desperate to kind of serve their country.

(Caption: If only Marisa, if only)
(Caption: Judging by the look on Marisa’s face, it’s safe to assume she’s read none of those criticisms)

Pushing tone deafness to its limits, the NSA apparently chose to emphasize the secretive nature of the job, despite that being the single biggest criticism the embattled agency has faced in the last two decades. I guess they really think the fact that employees “can’t talk about” what they do will be a big enough pull.

They say all publicity is good publicity, so why not talk about the elephant in the room and knowledge that some have criticized the organization so desperate to get young workers? Of course, by “criticized in the media” what Marisa means is “were exposed by Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian as operators of a large and secretive data mining operation” but, you know, some people say tomato, some people say infringe on even the most basic constitutional rights. Don’t worry though, because there’s a reason this is worth ignoring, and Marisa closes us out with why the next generation ought to consider working for the NSA.

You get to be part of something bigger than yourself, like the one of the biggest data mining operation - well it doesn’t matter what, the point is you get to be a part of it! Maybe they should have focused on the dental plan. There’s no sugar coating it, this is horrendous.

(Caption: NSA VP of Marketing)

I said earlier that it’s a clear ripoff of University of Phoenix commercials, but even the biggest scam college in existence learned how to make a good commercial. The political legacy of the NSA notwithstanding, this is a bad commercial. The whole “real people; not actors” genre of commercials is one that’s already on its last legs, and instead of taking it a fresh direction, the NSA made one of the most pandering, unapologetic pieces of crap the world has seen. At the time of writing this the ad has been on YouTube for about a week, has under sixty thousand views (considering how much ad time it’s getting on other videos, that’s pretty low), and has a solid 4-1 dislikes to likes ratio; it’s hard to imagine it’s gonna last. If the NSA wants to reshape its legacy, start by working to protect even the most basic civil rights, or at least make better commercials. 


Dylan James Harper is the Chief Political Editor for CSuiteMusic
Read more from Dylan at http://www.dylanjamesharper.com/

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