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Down With Negative Campaign Ads

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

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 manyCBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith

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