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Will we be able to see past the political attacks and mud slinging?

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

Fast forward to 2012 and the presidential election. The uncontrolled dollars amassed by the political Super PACs will create the media version of the Perfect Storm later this year. It’s projected that nearly every available television commercial spot will be sold out to political advertising, forcing all other segments to seek promotion of their products and services elsewhere. At PaperChain and Denton Publications we intend to make a convincing argument that free community newspapers are the ideal choice for advertisers forced to seek other advertising methods to reach consumers in a cost-effective way. It’s a challenging and exciting time to be a part of this whole process.

Political mud is apparently best slung electronically on television — something I am witnessing firsthand in Florida this week. We will witness the same later this year during the New York primary and this fall when the race to the White House takes center stage. In Florida they are calling it “carpet bombing” as the Republican political ads seem to run non-stop, bashing their opponents in the most vicious fashion. And, of course, these fellows will be allies this fall when President Obama and his Super PACs open their wallets and arsenals in an attempt to discredit any alternative to his second term. The big question will be whether the Republican candidates place so much doubt in voters' minds that they effectively damage their nominee when he runs against President Obama. Or have the voters become so accustomed to this type of advertising that it has no affect on how we cast our ballot? Everyone knows negative advertising works, will it work so well that America will be unable to optimistically look to its future and become mired in the mud?

Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@denpubs.com.

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