Should politicians be legally liable for their words?

  • #26
BobG
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Astronuc said:
Why can't politicians simply say, "I disagree with opponent on such-and-such issue, and this is my view/alternative idea . . . .".

If negative campaigning (all about emotion) is so successful, what does that say about the process, and the electorate?
Um, you have seen the Vonage commercials, right? Isn't that commercial specifically aimed at convincing stupid people to buy Vonage?

Or how about Geico - the insurance you should buy if you have the intelligence of a neanderthal?

What kind of people are persuaded by those commercials? The same kind that drink Keystone and Milwaukee Light (or whatever brand keeps falling on the unmanly man)?
 
  • #27
Astronuc
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BobG said:
Um, you have seen the Vonage commercials, right?
Maybe. I saw a commercial recently about VOI, and it might have been Vonage. In general, I do not watch TV. Too many other meaningful pursuits get in the way. :biggrin:
BobG said:
Isn't that commercial specifically aimed at convincing stupid people to buy Vonage?
Aren't most commercials targeted to the same audience?
Or how about Geico - the insurance you should buy if you have the intelligence of a neanderthal?
I've seen Geico's commercials. Not interested.

BTW - GEICO is one the companies owned by Bershire Hathaway, Warren Buffet's holding company. He makes $billions with them.
http://www.geico.com/about/background/berkshire_companies.htm [Broken]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkshire_Hathaway

BobG said:
What kind of people are persuaded by those commercials? The same kind that drink Keystone and Milwaukee Light (or whatever brand keeps falling on the unmanly man)?
Ah, the Bubba vote.
 
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  • #28
BobG
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On the other hand, Rick Santorum's commercial has to rank second best (to the Michael Fox commercial). It's light, but still gets his message across, and it's definitely a different tack than the mud slide of attack ads.

If it works, it would rank up there close to Ronald Reagan's New Hampshire Primary Debate in '80 as a great campaign stunt.

It's too little, too late for Santorum (plus it doesn't really reflect his prevailing attitude the last few years in the Senate) and the fact that a candidate would only opt for this type of commercial out of desperation is kind of depressing.

Still, if it bumps his numbers up a little, it could be a good development for the future.
 
  • #29
Gokul43201
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BobG said:
On the other hand, Rick Santorum's commercial has to rank second best (to the Michael Fox commercial). It's light, but still gets his message across, and it's definitely a different tack than the mud slide of attack ads.
Which one is this? Not his "vote for me or die in the ensuing nuclear winter" ad?
 
  • #30
BobG
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Gokul43201 said:
Which one is this? Not his "vote for me or die in the ensuing nuclear winter" ad?
No, it's the commercial with Santorum in a wrestling ring bragging about how he's cooperated with Democrats such as Leiberman, Boxer, and Hillary Clinton on key projects.
 
  • #31
ptabor said:
In my opinion, government should have a very very VERY minimal role in my life.
Amen!

ptabor said:
Clearly the time for change is at hand. There are multiple parties out there, at least one of them is likely to be a better match for your ideals than the Dems/Republicans. Problem is, these candidates stand zero chance of winning as they get zero air time and zero coverage. The system is not going to allow change from within... change must come from the outside.
By continuing to vote for the two party system you are only showing your support for the status quo. If you truly believe in the ideals of one party or the other, fine - vote away. However if you are disatisfied.. don't go to the polls thinking your vote is going to bring about change because you will be sorely disappointed.
See my post in the other thread about the 06 elections, it is rediculous that our government has descended to that level. Time for change, I agree it is.
 
  • #32
BobG
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Ivan Seeking said:
So the answer is that the Republican National Committee is responsible. If they had the authority to pull it, clearly the responsibility is theirs.

Beyond that, someone was in charge who was responsible for the decision to fund the commercial. At the least, that person should be named in a suit.
The people responsible will probably be bragging about it on their resume very soon. From the direction the polls on Tennessee have headed since the ad ran, it was a very effective commercial.

When it comes to TV ads for just about anything, stupid is the way to go. :frown:
 
  • #33
Skyhunter
Astronuc said:
Such adds and TV programming in general are some reasons I don't watch TV. :rolleyes:

Certainly, a person can sue for libel or slander.

Some commercials though simply take excerpts out of context, which falls in a grey area.
When I was growing up in the sixties, my parents told me not to believe TV commercials. Later I realized, after becoming friends with an ex advertising exec turned hippy that you cannot completely ignore a commercial. So I don't watch television at all.
 
  • #34
Astronuc
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Skyhunter said:
When I was growing up in the sixties, my parents told me not to believe TV commercials. Later I realized, after becoming friends with an ex advertising exec turned hippy that you cannot completely ignore a commercial. So I don't watch television at all.
I had a similar experience, and growing up during the Johnson and Nixon administrations reinforced a strong sense of skepticism. I've never made it all the way to cynicism because I still hold a glimmer of hope (as irrational as that might be) that good will prevail over evil and other negative aspects of the world.

I was always amazed about those who said TV had no influence on the public (particularly with respect to violence on TV) and then turn around to use commercials to influence political campaigns. And the same people hire psychologists in order to determine the best strategy to influence (really meaning - manipulate as much as possible) the public.
 
  • #35
Skyhunter
My friend made an obscene amount of money in advertising. You wouldn't know it to look at him, but he was incredibly wealthy. Used to drive around in a VW bus painted yellow with slogans written in black. One of my favorites was;

"The upper crust, is just a bunch of crumbs, held together by dough"

Have you all seen this commercial:

http://blog.radioleft.com/blog/_archives/2006/10/22/2436883.html [Broken]

It appears it has backfired, and it could be libelous.

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003286540 [Broken]
 
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  • #36
BobG
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Skyhunter said:
Have you all seen this commercial:

http://blog.radioleft.com/blog/_archives/2006/10/22/2436883.html [Broken]

It appears it has backfired, and it could be libelous.

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003286540 [Broken]
I guess we'll see if the ad backfires.

If it was an 800 number he called, then obviously the charge was by the hotel, not the phone sex line. They must charge for all out-going calls and the call was included with all the rest.

The problem is that most voters only see the commercial and never read or hear the details behind the ad. Even if there's an article in the newspapers, it's usually buried pretty far back.

If the ad does become a big issue in the news, it certainly could backfire, especially if records back up that the charge was as ludicrous as it sounds, but that just doesn't happen very often.
 
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  • #37
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A recent study shows that negative attack ads do work. The effects even show up in brain scans. Shades of Orwell, we are being politically brainwashed.

Fair elections committees are going to have to insure that each side will be required to show the exact same number of negative ads.
Then they can give an award to the person producing the most damning piece of trash.:rolleyes: This has to stop.:grumpy:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1501AP_Political_Ads_Science.html [Broken]
 
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  • #38
loseyourname
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You know, I haven't been seeing any gallingly negative ads here. The worst just highlight the way a certain candidate voted with the implication being we (the people of the northern Bay Area) don't want someone in office that makes those kinds of votes. I haven't noticed any that attack a person's character or try to associate a candidate with evil or vice. The most noticeable thing was a contest being advertised in the local school newspaper in which students are invited to submit "flunk Arnold" ads. It bothered me to see something like that, but it still seems a heck of a lot tamer than what's going on elsewhere in the country, given what is being posted here.
 
  • #39
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
You know, I haven't been seeing any gallingly negative ads here. The worst just highlight the way a certain candidate voted with the implication being we (the people of the northern Bay Area) don't want someone in office that makes those kinds of votes. I haven't noticed any that attack a person's character or try to associate a candidate with evil or vice. The most noticeable thing was a contest being advertised in the local school newspaper in which students are invited to submit "flunk Arnold" ads. It bothered me to see something like that, but it still seems a heck of a lot tamer than what's going on elsewhere in the country, given what is being posted here.
California has prop 89 (publicly financed elections) on the ballot. If it passes I will be interested in seeing the results next cycle.

I don't watch TV, so the only negative ads I have seen are from youtube.
 
  • #40
loseyourname
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Skyhunter said:
California has prop 89 (publicly financed elections) on the ballot. If it passes I will be interested in seeing the results next cycle.

I don't watch TV, so the only negative ads I have seen are from youtube.
I have to admit I haven't paid terrible attention to the ballot propositions. Is Prop 89 a clean money bill like Arizona passed, whereby any politician can opt in, but does not have to, or would this require the public financing of all campaigns?

I only watch sports for the most part, so I'm pretty much seeing beer and auto insurance commercials. I have noticed a few ads here and there, though. They seem surreal to me when they come on. The whole idea of selling a politician like a product, paralleling Dodge commercials that make it seem like you're a little girl for driving another type of truck, is so patently absurd when you step back from it to really think about what is being done. How on earth did almost everything in our culture become some twisted hybrid between a horse race and a marketing campaign? Has the selection of leaders always occured either like this or through military conquest? There has to be a better way.
 
  • #41
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
I have to admit I haven't paid terrible attention to the ballot propositions. Is Prop 89 a clean money bill like Arizona passed, whereby any politician can opt in, but does not have to, or would this require the public financing of all campaigns?
It is modeled on the Arizona law. I did not read the text of the bill. I am supporting it because it sould open the door to more candidates, which I think might be healthy for politics.
 
  • #42
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I have seen several attack ads based on fear of terrorists. The one below is a good example. They attack the Democratic party in general. I saw the most offensive one on FOX news this morning, but I can't seem to locate it on the net.

 
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  • #43
Gokul43201
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edward said:
I have seen several attack ads based on fear of terrorists. The one below is a good example. They attack the Democratic party in general. I saw the most offensive one on FOX news this morning, but I can't seem to locate it on the net.

That's just funny!

"Do we really want to see this again?"

In my recollection, the "political party with radical anti-war leaders" didn't control the Senate, the House, or the Executive, when "this" happened the first time!
 
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  • #44
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This one is even more ridiculous, the voice in the ad even plugs a company. I would tend to think that it is a joke.

 
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  • #46
Skyhunter
Did you see this one?

Olbermann responds here.
 

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