November 4, 2002

The good, the bad, and the ugly…

I just watched a segment on MSNBC about political ads. The talking head was a political science professor. The anchor asked if negative ads “work.” Quite cogently, the professor said that’s really a 2-part question: 1) Do the ads work, i.e. get voters to make decisions? and 2) Are negative ads bad for American democracy? He answered “yes” to #1 and “no” to #2. I respectfully disagree. Yes, negative ads work. But, also yes, the typical negative ad is bad for democracy because it lowers the level of political discourse to often-inaccurate, sound-bite blathering. Our social, economic, and political problems require deeper thought and greater participation to overcome. Sorry, no links.

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