History

As we all know, 2010 were the mid-term elections and as usual the mudslinging TV ads that go with campaigning. It got to the point where you almost hated to turn on the TV, knowing full well all that would be on was attack ad, after attack ad, after attack ad. Looming on the horizon is the 2012 presidential election and already the mud is flying. Of course there has always that “Vote for me because I’m better than the other guy” type of ad. However, it seems in recent years the ads have reached a new low. No one can deny the power of television and that it can be used as a tool of persuasion, whether the facts are correct or not. Seems only fitting that your last assignment concern television campaign ads. What you are to do: View the ads from 1952 through 1968. Make sure you view 3 from each political party for each year. In other words a total of 30 commercials. It might seem like a lot, but how are you to get a feel for what you need to do without viewing a reasonable amount? What are the issues? Identify the candidate and how the candidate portray himself and his opponent? Are the ads of the years under review as negative as we saw in the recent campaign? Contrast and compare the ads. Do you see patterns and trends? Do you feel negative ads accomplish anything? Are you swayed by negative ads, or do you look behind all the rhetoric for the truth of the issue? I leave it up to you how you wish to explain the information within the format of a formal essay.

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