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edward long

Association of Old Crows


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Do not allow paid political advertising on radio, tv, and internet.

Mass media is arguably the primary influence on the average person's decision-making. It was for this reason that tobacco product advertising was stopped. Political ads have become not much more than attempts to persuade voters to vote NO for something or someone. Most of the content is negative and derogatory, if not outright false. Useful, truthful information is getting more scarce with each election. More muck gets raked every time the campaign season rolls around. Better we should exercise personal initiative to inform ourselves about candidates and issues. Billions of advertising dollars are at stake so the mass media will probably flaunt their powers of influence to stop any such effort, I know the tobacco lobby sure did.


Closing Statement from edward long

123 comments by 23 participants covered the spectrum from status quo to take the vote away from women!
8 people agree with the idea of stopping paid political ads on electronic mass media. 15 people have other ideas. Most believe there is a problem with campaign ethics. Some of the suggestions are: free air time for candidates with fact checking; third party ads ok but not endorsed by candidates; do what other countries do; repeal sufferage; people need information made available to them because they will not get it themselves; a 9-step program was itemized in detail; purge voter ignorance by force-feeding education; all advertising is propaganda; people have already made up their minds so ads don't have much influence; 2 people like the idea but feel it is too difficult to execute (the tobacco ad prohibition carried little weight); one person prefers the status quo; one thinks negative ads are helpful. Thanks to all who shared their wisdom and energy. I will see if TED will allow a debate on this.

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    Nov 12 2012: I agree with the sentiment, but I don't see that restricting such advertising would be the correct course of action. Primarily, the outlets that would provide their services to a politician pro-bono are precisely the ones which are biased toward that politician, while the outlets that are more neutral might not be able to afford the associated loss in revenue. Secondarily I would note that the negative ads seem to work better (in terms of voter turnout and issue knowledge, according to http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/caveman-politics/201210/why-are-negative-ads-positive-voters), in spite of their attempts to manipulate the public.
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      Nov 12 2012: I do not disagree with your observations but I would add that the heart of the problem is UNTRUTH. I really don't care who says what in a campaign so long as what they say is true. As stated elsewhere in this coversation, we are not talking about positive versus negative ads, but about true versus false ads. To me a true negative ad is of much more value than a false positive ad. I am proposing stopping ALL PAID POLITICAL ADVERTISING because I don't think we could restrict only false ads, so stop them all. Thank you.
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        Nov 12 2012: Wouldn't that just leave the pro-bono adverts, and not affect the lack of truth in them?
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          Nov 12 2012: I do not know how we can stop media owners from using their resources to get their favorites elected or passed by whatever means necessary without infringing upon their Constitutional rights. So I think we must live with those non-revenue producing ads from the media moguls. Follow the money, Mr. Hawk, follow the money!

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