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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Griper Blade: Super PACs and the Power of Negative Thinking

melted television plays the news
It's a glimpse into most of our futures. There's a big old crapstorm rolling through America and the front has only passed on for a handful of states. Stick the kids in the basement, stock up on food, and board up your TV, radio, and mailbox. It's going to be bad.

Washington Post:

Negative ads were so prevalent in the final week before the Florida primary that they accounted for 92 percent of all campaign commercials that ran.

And the most heavily broadcast commercial this past weekend was not one featuring Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich but Tom Brokaw, the former NBC News anchor whose image the Romney campaign co-opted for an ad that used a 25-second clip from an old newscast on Mr. Gingrich’s political troubles.

These figures, compiled by the Kantar Media Campaign Media Analysis Group, attest to the bitter turn the race took after the South Carolina primary when Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the “super PACs” working to elect them unleashed a barrage of attacks.

Before we go any further, I want to say I'm not against negative ads. In fact, I'm for them. Pro-candidate ads are generally useless information about how the candidate will "fight to protect" things that offend no focus group. We learn, for example, that candidate X is for a good education for our children, a strong economy, and getting Washington back to work -- as if there's any candidate out there who's against all that. In short, positive ads tell us nothing. They're useless information. In them, candidates boldly stake a claim to those things guaranteed to appeal to everyone...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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