July 8, 2012 |
In this pivotal election year, fellow citizens, I give you a chilling vision of two Americas. One America is the swing states, the dozen or so states that don't fall into the Democratic or Republican camps and will ultimately decide the presidential election. Those unhappy states - they know who they are - are already being flooded with noisy political advertising, day and night. The other America, the happier America, is what political strategists call "safe states. " In these lucky places, television viewers are mostly safe from being inundated with presidential political harangues.
June 27, 2012 |
The New York Times' editorial page was shocked and appalled that, a mere two years after the Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court dealt summarily with a plea by the state of Montana that it revisit the issue of corporate spending on political campaigns. Whatever you think of Citizens United, the idea that the high court would upend such a fresh precedent is fantastic. In upholding the Montana law, that state's Supreme Court was cruising for a judicial bruising. The doctrine of stare decisis is not absolute.
June 20, 2012
In its reckless Citizens United decision in 2010, the Supreme Court divided 5 to 4 in holding that corporations could spend unlimited funds to influence elections. But in the same case, eight justices agreed that it was constitutional for Congress to require disclosure of the identities of those who paid for political advertising. In a part of his opinion joined by every member of the court except Clarence Thomas, JusticeAnthony M. Kennedy wrote: "The 1st Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.
June 18, 2012 |
With anticipation building for the Supreme Court decision on President Obama's healthcare reform law, a survey has found that advertising purchases opposed to the law more than tripled those in support of it, $250 million to $76 million. The survey, conducted by Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, shows just how dominant the anti-“Obamacare” movement's advertising purchases have been since the president's election in 2008. This year alone, opposition groups spent $14.2 million in their top 10 anti-reform markets, with a focus on heartland cities such as Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids and Detroit.
May 13, 2012 |
The television commercial is designed to spark outrage. "Billions of taxpayer dollars spent on green energy went to jobs in foreign countries," it intones. "The Obama administration admitted the truth - that $2.3 billion of tax credits went overseas, while millions of Americans can't find a job…. American taxpayers are paying to send their own jobs to foreign countries. " But the widely broadcast anti-Obama ad, paid for by a conservative group called Americans for Prosperity, is highly misleading - a slick pastiche of untruths, half-truths and exaggerations.
April 13, 2012 |
Public radio and television stations may no longer be a safe haven from political advertising. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco threw out a federal statute that prohibited public radio and television stations from accepting political advertisements. In its 2-1 decision Thursday, the court kept intact rules banning advertising for for-profit entities on public stations. Some media advocacy groups blasted the ruling, concerned that public radio and television stations will become just another platform for political attack ads. "Polluting public broadcasting with misleading and negative political ads is not in keeping with the original vision of noncommercial broadcasting," said Craig Aaron, president and chief executive of Free Press.