Down With Negative Campaign Ads
Egyptian election workers count the ballots following the end of the two day presidential election in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, May 24, 2012. As vote-counting began, exit polls by several Arab television stations suggested the Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi was ahead of the pack of 13 candidates. The reliability of the various exit surveys was not known, and a few hours after the end of two days of voting, only a tiny percentage of the ballots had been counted. (AP Photo/Fredrik Persson) / Fredrik Persson
Smart, those negative ads. The airwaves are full of them. And, as the campaign folks always say, they wouldn't run them unless they worked.
Chatting with a friend of mine the other day, I was shocked when my friend described a certain candidate as a crook, then realized that impression came not from familiarity with the candidate, but from the onslaught of ads that portray him that way.
I've grown to hate the noise of the campaign — the name-calling, the mud-slinging. No wonder so many folks who might think about public service say no. Who wants to be humiliated every election cycle?
The negative ads usually embolden core voters. But political operatives will tell you that the ads often keep would-be voters and fence-sitters at home. They become so disgusted they no longer want to participate. That, my friends, really is disgusting.
Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.
By Harry Smith