June 20, 2012
Let’s Hear It For Attack Ads!

From this month’s Frank Rich column in New York magazine. Read it all here.

In defiance of the whither-democracy laments of such fellow academic authorities as Kathleen Hall Jamieson (the author of Dirty Politics) and Thomas Patterson (The Vanishing Voter), Geer chastises all the doomsayers for being “so worried about ‘civility’ in campaigns.” He argues not just that “democracy can survive negativity” but that “without negativity, no nation can credibly think of itself as democratic.” He points out, as others have, that negative ads tend to be more accurate than positive ads — a low bar, to be sure — and contain more news that voters can use. Mike Murphy, the irrepressible GOP political operative and wit, agrees. “We have a joke in the business,” he told Geer, that “the only difference between negative and positive ads is that negative ads have facts in them.”


Posted by Jerome Doolittle at June 20, 2012 10:21 PM
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All those millions (or billions before its done) of dollars in political ads of all stripes will be wasted on me. I have vowed to not watch any, and so far, unlike many of my other vows to myself, this one is turning out to be a piece of cake to keep. And somehow, I don't feel like I'm missing out on a damned thing, nor do I feel less informed. In fact, I'm pretty sure if I let all that negativity fill my brain on a non-stop cycle, my ability to cope with my own current unemployed situation would be more difficult to deal with and would suck right out of me the last pieces of hope I have left. I know I'm just one person with one vote, and this election is not about improving my life per se, but I do wonder if say, someone like Karl Rove or Sheldon Adelson knew that all their time, effort, and MONEY are wasted on voters like me. Even if they lose one minute of precious sleep over it is satisfaction enough for me.

Back in the 1960's my dad called the television the Idiot Box. Of course, I was the weird kid in the schoolyard when I had to say I did not see the latest Monkees episode, but all these years later I'm finding out I'm in TOTAL AGREEMENT with my dad on that score today. Just call me a chip off the old block!

Posted by: Pat In Massachusetts on June 21, 2012 5:49 AM

"all their time, effort and MONEY are wasted on voters like me. Even if they lose one minute of precious sleep over it.." I think, I can say with complete confidence that sociopaths do not lose sleep over voters like you or me, otherwise they wouldn't be the sociopaths they are. I think it is important to recognize that these people do not have feelings, emotions, or concerns shared by normal people.

Posted by: knowdoubt on June 21, 2012 6:56 AM
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