Monday, October 13, 2008

MSNBC-TV: Covering Campaign Mistakes and Mishaps

by Brooks Jarosz

Why go negative?
I’ve really been getting tired of the negative political ads. Whenever I try to watch anything, news or entertainment, there is an advertisement telling me how bad a person is for the job. I’m talking about slogans like “not our values,” “not what we need,” or “not someone you can trust". Between the presidential candidates and the Columbus-funded commercials, I have had enough!

This past week, MSNBC-TV did a great job covering the McCain campaign, whose negative ads ended up backfiring during a series of events. In Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the smearing of Barack Obama’s campaign was well explained. Alaska Governor Sarah Palin lead the pack associating Obama with a terrorist. Multiple people stood up at rallies and commented on McCain’s campaign and Barack Obama. One women called Obama an “Arab” and McCain was forced to back-pedal. McCain then responded saying Obama was a good man, to which the crowd responded with multiple boos. Another younger man expressed fear in Obama, associating with terrorists and his future daughter being born into that kind of world. Again, McCain responded saying you should not fear him, that Barack is a “good family man” and “would make a good president”.

My opinion in all of this is that McCain deserved it. People were picking up on his false, negative messaging and it bit him in the butt. Good! It’s about time candidates are held responsible for the content their campaign produces. The race isn’t all about winning; it should be about representing the people and working to make things better.

MSNBC should have dialed down the graphics a bit. Having “breaking news” and “McCain: Obama a good family man” among others was a little over the top. Regardless, hearing some of the American people talk negatively about the Obama campaign only reinforced the power of the political commercials.

October Surprise?
Governor Palin hasn’t gotten off to easy lately. The report in the Troopergate case came out this past week. The question was whether or not Palin broke state law having her former brother-in-law kicked off the police squad. Palin’s response, according to MSNBC-TV, was she fired Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan because he refused to fire her brother-in-law. Palen says she fired Monegan because she wanted to take state law enforcement in a different direction. Monegan says he was fired for Palin’s personal interests, which would violate state law. So, is this an October surprise that the report came out less than a month before the election? Maybe.

The War Views
Finally, NBC Nightly News did some coverage on where the candidates stand on the issues. One of the major ones, the War in Iraq. Despite what you may think is best for the country, it is nice to see plans outlined in a balanced report. For this week, I'll leave you with that...

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