Thursday, July 26, 2012

Feeling Neglected

("Negative Ads Hit at Identity to Shape Race")

It was reported in the New York Times in December of 2008 that $2.6 billion had been spent on television and radio political advertising that year, a new record. Of that amount, most ($2 billion) was paid for local television time, $400 million on radio and local cable broadcasts, and only $200 million on national cable and TV. Thanks to Citizens United, the floodgates are now wide open. Medill Reports recently projected that the spending for the 2012 election cycle will be $5.64 billion at broadcast stations and another $938 million on cable. Sheldon Adelson has announced that he alone (more precisely, with his wife) intends to spend up to $100 million to make sure that the next president is ABO (anyone but Obama).

Almost every article references that this vast flow of dollars is being directed at the battleground swing states and their undecided voters. Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and a few others get all the money and attention. As you now advise, if you live in Richmond you recently had over 4,500 opportunities in less than 2 weeks to learn why both the democratic and republican candidates were wholly unqualified to be your representative. Residing in New Jersey, I don't get the chance to view nearly as much of this endless mind numbing rhetoric.

Can you name the second largest television market for political advertisement in 2012? If you said Cleveland, you were correct. The eighth largest is Columbus, Ohio. Your article today states that only 8% of those who will cast ballots approximately 100 days from now remain uncertain of their choice. Less than 130 million people came out to vote in 2008, and that was in a year where there was decidedly more fervor than at present.. Even projecting the same figures, there are only about 10 million in total in all 50 states who have not already determined the villain and the hero in this year's long running drama. The money being spent to make a few in Columbus and Cleveland pull the correct lever is staggering.

I am not being bombarded with constant reminders of how bad things are, how un-American the other guy is. I don't hear the many half truths and total lies meant to indoctrinate me. I feel like I am missing the show playing in a small part of our country. However, if I were there, I am fairly certain I would pull the plug, or at least turn the channel to the local baseball game and hope to hear a solicitation from a refreshingly forthright used car salesman.

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