Howard Kurtz considers a few of the Senate races this morning–including the situation in Montana. Republican Mike Taylor is dropping out of the race because, as he claims, the nasty Democrats ran a political ad in which he was depicted as a homosexual. No way. I saw the ad last night on CNN. The ad alleges abuse of a student loan program. The pictures were taken from Taylor’s own TV show that ran in the early 1980s. He looks like John Tavolta in “Saturday Night Fever.” In any case, he was 19 points down in the polls and out of money. Get over it.
No one uses TV political ads to inform the public. TV cannot present cogent propositions in 30 seconds. TV is driven by images that dictate an episodic and emotional presentation of messages. Ads that focus on opponents are necessarily negative, emotional, and misleading.