Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Media wants us back in the Gutter

In this article from the L.A. Times, we hear about how Hillary Clinton gained her lead over Obama by going negative. In other words, the dreaded negative campaigning that most people hate (and rightfully so) is what gave her the comeback she needed, as if going negative is a positive thing.

This is one of the biggest problems we have with our traditional media, and it's not just the L.A. Times because this story is in every other major newspaper and on every major news network. This whole thing is a fabrication.

Case in point: One of the ways in which Clinton "went negative" was by running an ad in Texas that displayed a red phone, with the verbal questioning/assumption of "who would you rather have answering a national emergency at 3 a.m. in the morning?"

Since when did claiming that you would be the best person for the job constitute a negative ad?

Here's another one: Obama had an aide meet with the Canadian government, stating that Obama would do exactly the opposite of what he has been saying he would do in regards to NAFTA.

Since when did pointing out a simple fact become negative?

Someone needs to clarify what negative campaigning is and I'm ready to step up. Here goes: Negative campaigning is when you run commercials 24-hr a day that are intellectually dishonest, that take information about the other candidate and twist it in a way that distorts what the candidate did. It also involves continuously talking about what the other candidate is doing wrong and never talking about what you are doing right.

I don't think Hillary has gone negative and I think anyone with a brain can figure that out. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you want, but I think big media is hyping this because negative campaigning is dying out and they want to bring it back.

Negativity, after all, results in strong emotional responses, which is better for ratings. It's the reason why the majority of the news we see is bad instead of an equal amount of good and bad or even a majority good, even though there is just as much good news out there as there is bad.

I hope we are smart enough not to let the media drag us back into the gutter for the sake of their ratings.

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