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Interesting NPR bit re: negative campaign tactics

Old 10-27-04, 06:56 PM
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Interesting NPR bit re: negative campaign tactics

NPR ran a cool segment on negative campaign tactics - about how people long for the old days, when presidential campaigns were more polite and dignified. It then skewered the hell out of this myth with many examples, including:

Thomas Jefferson's opponent asserted that if he were elected, rape and incest would be legalized and commonplace.

One candidate's opponent routinely and seriously accused the candidate's mother of being a prostitute.

Lincoln's opponent circulated a false pamphlet, supposedly by Lincoln's campaign, advocating freedom of slaves as a step in Lincoln's "Master Plan" of intermingling races to produce a racially homogeneous America.

Many examples where candidates accused each other of being adulterers, murderers, and thieves.

Lots of great stuff. And I remember having heard from a different source (and previously posted here) that one candidate in the 1800s accused his opponent of serving Satan.

- David Stein
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Old 10-27-04, 07:17 PM
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http://www.npr.org/rundowns/segment.php?wfId=4129492

fascinating stuff.

NPR = for people who want to think
Talk Radio = for people who want to be told what to think

Turn the dial, people!
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Old 10-27-04, 07:24 PM
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Negative campaigning was far less common in the Old World in areas where people were murdered or imprisoned for speaking up against the ruler. Oh, and in modern day France.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:40 PM
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Originally posted by chess


NPR = for people who want to think
Talk Radio = for people who want to be told what to think

Great point.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:46 PM
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Originally posted by chess

NPR = for people who want to think
Talk Radio = for people who want to be told what to think

Turn the dial, people!
Is that because talk radio is mainly conservative dominated (nationally) or are you condemning all political talk radio?

I will disagree about your assertion regarding Talk Radio. Some of it can be good (My favorite is a local show in KC) and some can be bad.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:47 PM
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NPR is run by liberals, but they do allow equal time to the other side. I don't know of too many Republicans and Conservatives who will refuse to come on NPR to tell their side of the story because NPR is too slanted. At least they're not firing opinion at you 24/7 like the majority of talk radio out there.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by bfrank
Great point.
Yeah

Whatever.
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Old 10-27-04, 07:52 PM
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Re: Interesting NPR bit re: negative campaign tactics

Originally posted by sfsdfd

Thomas Jefferson's opponent asserted that if he were elected, rape and incest would be legalized and commonplace.
Personally, I'd take either on of these. I don't even really have a preference. Thomas Jefferson '04
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Old 10-27-04, 08:15 PM
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Originally posted by Nazgul
Is that because talk radio is mainly conservative dominated (nationally) or are you condemning all political talk radio?

I will disagree about your assertion regarding Talk Radio. Some of it can be good (My favorite is a local show in KC) and some can be bad.
It's not conservative. It's Republican. I have yet to hear Democratic talk radio, but it's surely as one sided and stupid as the stuff that I usually hear from the Republican mouthpieces.

I prefer legitimate journalism and insight that doesn't sound disingenuous to the laughable sheep food I hear from Rush, Hannity, Beck et al. It's hard to blame the Democrats from responding in kind, but I'm sure their version is just as bad.

I can't condemn all political talk radio, as there is some on NPR, but as previously stated they go out of their way to allow equal time on virtually every issue no matter how mundane.
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Old 10-27-04, 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by bfrank
Great point.

It is?



I find myself normally unable to listen to NPR due to its slant. And I found the comment on talk radio, though I don't listen to any, to be quite condescending. But maybe it's just me?




As for the topic at hand, I agree. Things have always been bad and negative. On a larger point, I don't even know what the word negative in this context means anymore. Is every mention of one's opponent and their record negative? Seriously, I think the notion that things now are so much worse, so much more divisive, to be bullshit.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:32 PM
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Because negative campaigns based on truth work.
Kerry is about to find out that ones based on jumping to conclusions don't.
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Old 10-27-04, 10:51 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
It is?



I find myself normally unable to listen to NPR due to its slant. And I found the comment on talk radio, though I don't listen to any, to be quite condescending. But maybe it's just me?




As for the topic at hand, I agree. Things have always been bad and negative. On a larger point, I don't even know what the word negative in this context means anymore. Is every mention of one's opponent and their record negative? Seriously, I think the notion that things now are so much worse, so much more divisive, to be bullshit.
Is there a conservative commentator on NPR? The ones I listen to are certainly not.

I agree. What is negative? Is pointing out an individual's record negative? The attacks against Grover Cleveland were negative. Having questions about a 20-year Senate record of 4-year record as CIC is not negative campaigning IMO.

BTW: I don't listen to talk radio. I try to hold my listening to NPR to a bare minimum also.
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Old 10-27-04, 11:13 PM
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Is there a conservative commentator on NPR? The ones I listen to are certainly not.
I usually just listen to them a little bit in the evening (All Things Considered and sometime Marketplace) but I've never really heard one. Occasionally they'll throw a bone to the conservative and not make things sound so bad or even more rare report something that could possible makes the con/reps look good, but it seems rare IMHO. Not to say they are as bad as talk radio or Democracy Now, but there certainly is a bias in their reporting that is to the left of where my personal bias sees a "center of the road" media should be
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Old 10-28-04, 09:07 AM
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Listen to Talk of the Nation or Diane Reems (sp?) sometime. They have very thoughtful discusssions and (from my point of view) give equal time to all viewpoints.
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Old 10-28-04, 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by chess
NPR = National People's Radio
fixed
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Old 10-28-04, 09:30 AM
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At least they're not firing opinion at you 24/7 like the majority of talk radio out there.
I agree CSPAN has been running this "talk radio simulcast" thing all week and on both sides I've never heard so much banal banter Some of them don't even bother taking calls (or few calls) and just prattle on on their own. Those that do take calls frequently talk over the callers and nothing like a discussion ever has a chance of happening. Why do people like these things
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Old 10-28-04, 09:32 AM
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Talk radio is largely Conservative, I don't dispute that. But think about this.... Conservative talk radio sells. It stands on its own without the kind of government sponsorship that NPR gets. Don't blame talk radio for being Conservative, blame Liberals for not having a message that sells the same way.

Al Franken, Ed Schultz, Randi Rhodes, Marty Kaplan, Janeane Garofalo and Alan Colmes are entertaining, but they just don't have the numbers. Air America Radio has, at present, 37 stations. Bill Bennett, who has only been on the air for a couple of months, already has 71 stations, and he's a lightweight compared to stations carrying Glenn Beck, Laura Ingrham, Michael Medved, Michael Reagan, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, or, yes, even Rush Limbaugh.

If Liberals require Government-sponsorship via NPR to get their word out, could it be because people don't care to listen to what they have to say? The sheer number of Conservative radio shows would tend to support that.
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Old 10-28-04, 09:33 AM
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Originally posted by nemein
I usually just listen to them a little bit in the evening (All Things Considered and sometime Marketplace) but I've never really heard one. Occasionally they'll throw a bone to the conservative and not make things sound so bad or even more rare report something that could possible makes the con/reps look good, but it seems rare IMHO. Not to say they are as bad as talk radio or Democracy Now, but there certainly is a bias in their reporting that is to the left of where my personal bias sees a "center of the road" media should be
I listen to them for a little over 2 hours each day, and while they do occasionally feature conservative commentators, it's usually in a special segment. Today, for example, they had a feature where a liberal spoke about how the Republicans favor the elite, and a conservative with how Democrats actually favor the elite. During the debates, they had a pro-Kerry/pro-Bush poetry segment.

The most common regular commentators (people like Daniel Schorr and Robert Reich, who speak frequently), however, tend to be very liberal. There's nothing like frequently hearing those two, with no conservative counterpoint to balance it, then seeing somebody type that NPR is neutral. Even NPR's "fluffier" shows tend to take stabs at conservatives more than liberals (like Prairie Home Companion, with Garrison Keillor, that almost never fails to take a stab at Bush).

Another nitpicky thing: it may just be me, but when speaking about Kerry-to-Bush criticism, NPR's reporters always phrase things like "Kerry challenged Bush's failure to blah blah blah." When talking about Bush-to-Kerry criticism, it tends to be "Bush today accused Kerry of blah blah blah." There's a subtle difference there, but it's one that paints Kerry's criticism as more valid than Bush's.
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Old 10-28-04, 03:57 PM
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I'd rather listen to listener supported radio than the savage nation, where the host blatently lies to people in his commercials, telling me the wonders of cortaslim, that super prostate formula will make me piss like a racehorse AND increase my sex drive, and my favorite is how he tells me to buy gold and silver in these "troubling times."
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Old 10-28-04, 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by chess
NPR = for people who want to think
Talk Radio = for people who want to be told what to think


Oh man, you're killing me.

I'd rephrase it:

NPR = For people who like to think but not be challenged
Talk Radio = For people who like to think and welcome debate

Last edited by Geofferson; 10-28-04 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 10-28-04, 04:19 PM
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Regarding the commercials on Savage:

I've seen and heard those exact commercials on CNN and the oldies radio station.
Not to defend him specifically, but have you tried any of those products? Like any commercial, caveat emptor, and the consumer must do his research [there is some science to Cortislim that shows it could work well on certain people..]

"prefer legitimate journalism and insight that doesn't sound disingenuous to the laughable sheep food I hear from Rush, Hannity, Beck et al.'

Two different things. I listen to Rush and occasionally Hannity and Laura Ingraham. They are journalists, that's not why I listen to them. Their shows aren't 'news' shows, they are 'commentary/personality' shows. Totally different thing. As such, I don't mind at all if they have biases and share them--if I agree with them, or if they're expressed in a thoughful, entertaining way, I'll listen to the person. NPR has some commentary/personality shows, and some 'news' shows. The former can have whatever spin they want, the latter should not.

When I do listen to NPR, it's usuallY marketplace, but I have also noticed that if their hosts politics show, they're usually on the left.

There's nothing wrong with negative campaigns if, like someone said, they are based on truth and history ["GWB or Kerry did this, which was bad! He supports this, which is bad!"] BS speculation like we're seeing from some of the vocal Hollywood left [GWB will make it illegal to be gay, will start a draft, prevented us from getting flu shots] is bad. And rather than just the negative, I'd like to hear 'The candidate did/supports this, which is bad! Here's what I've done or will do, which is good!' It's so easy to be negative, but it's apparently nigh impossible to offer any realistic solid "constructive criticism".
And, yes, negativity [on any side] does eventually get old and burn people out.
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Old 10-28-04, 04:21 PM
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Originally posted by kenbuzz
Talk radio is largely Conservative, I don't dispute that. But think about this.... Conservative talk radio sells. It stands on its own without the kind of government sponsorship that NPR gets. Don't blame talk radio for being Conservative, blame Liberals for not having a message that sells the same way.

This is what I have said for years.
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Old 10-28-04, 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by Geofferson
Talk Radio = For people who like to think and welcome debate
Saying "Ditto" to everything the talk show host says is "debate"?
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Old 10-28-04, 04:30 PM
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Saying "Ditto" to everything the talk show host says is "debate"?
If you're talking about the context of the Rush Limbaugh show, "ditto" certainly doesn't mean that they agree with everything Rush says. The term is used to indicate that it's nice/refreshing to find a talk show that more closely is aligned with the listener's views. This is said at the beginning of a call after which the caller says what they agree/disagree with Limbaugh on. It certainly isn't used as a blanket agreement.
Not only that, people who disagree with the host are put at the beginning of the line.
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Old 10-28-04, 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho
Saying "Ditto" to everything the talk show host says is "debate"?
Of course not.

OTOH, taking a political opponent's speech, and using out-of-context sound bites to answer unrelated questions - now, <i>that</i> is debate.

Case in point:

Limbaugh: Kerry, do you flip-flop on every issue?
Kerry recording: Yes.
Limbaugh: Kerry, what's your opinion of your wife?
Kerry recording: My wife is (pause) a mean, negative (pause) greedy woman.

What a great debate. I think Limbaugh clearly won that one.

- David Stein
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