2/3 of Obama ads are positive; 2/3 of Romney ads are negative. And Polifact rates a full 10% of the Mitt Romney claims it evaluated as “Pants on Fire.”

Republicans are nasty and lie a lot.

Really, it ought to be astounding that the mainstream press has bought into Karl Rove’s claim that “Obama is going negative” when 2/3 of the Obama ads are positive while 2/3 of the Romney ads are negative. The high rate of Pants on Fire for Romney is, of course, no surprise.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

5 thoughts on “Precis”

  1. it ought to be astounding…

    Whose brilliant idea was it to allow media consolidation? This paragraph by David Brin still stuns:

    We have the illusion of choice… but six media giants now control a staggering 90% of what we read, watch or listen to. These companies are: CBS, Viacom, Disney, GE, NewsCorp (which includes Fox and the Wall Street Journal) and Time Warner (which includes CNN, HBO, Time and Warner Bros). The largest owner of radio stations in the U.S., Clear Channel, operates 1,200 stations, airing shows by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity, with programs syndicated to more than 5,000 stations. And who owns Clear Channel? Bain Capital purchased Clear Channel shortly before Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential bid One clear reason why conservative talk show hosts support Mitt? And weren’t we supposed to be more independent and broad in in our access to information, by now?

    Blame it on the neoliberals:
    But I want to know specifically: What bipartisan coalition of neoliberal losers and when?

    Q: Twenty years from now will we hold accountable the losers who today claim Global Warming is a liberal hoax?
    A: Do we hold the media consolidators accountable today?

    Screw the pooch today, no one will remember you for it tomorrow.

  2. It should be astounding, but it’s not.

    This is easy to understand, actually. The Bob Schieffers of the world find it convenient to assume that both sides are running negative ads. This has many advantages. It gives them something to tut-tut about while still appearing impartial. It gives them an air of seriousness about things without having to actually understand or think about any of the issues. And of course the assumption itself, as well as the opportunity to strike poses means they can collect their paychecks with no real effort of any kind. Further, their colleagues in the media ar emostly playing similar games, so will not call them.

    1. The Bob Schieffers of the world didn’t get to where they are by rocking the boat. Anyone in the biz can give you a long list of people whose careers stalled, or burned out, or got shifted to the softer beats because they weren’t team players. Artificial selection is a wondrous thing, because it produces people who truly believe the garbage they’re asked to spout.

  3. Well, look at the candidates. What is there to say about a man as boring as Mitt Romney? How you can run an ad, either negative or positive, about such a non-entity? I know committed liberals have convinced themselves that Romney is evil incarnate, but I doubt that his scandals would hold the interest of the kind of disengaged voters who could be swayed by campaign ads. Same with his achievements. Naturally both sides would prefer to talk about Obama, because he’s more interesting.

  4. Sullivan’s admittedly imprecise data (taken from Politifact, however, which means an accurate representation of how it’s presented to the public) show clearly the right’s betrothal to the “big lie,” the sweeping distortions that actually shape public perception in a real and lasting way. This is why rightwing authoritarianism wins the real framing wars, creating the fundamental, non-conscious assumptions that precede and shape perception – the persistent, unhesitating use of base, emotionally powerful, highly distorting lies. Facts will not counter these primal attacks, this dehumanizing ‘otherization,’ and post Citizen’s this tactic takes on a whole new dimension. Democrats better get their game up – nice guy mewling (see: Harry Reid) and twelve level chess will not stand a chance, across groups and over time, against unlimited money and the relentless, amoral hunger for power of modern conservatism (see: Wisconsin). As go the states, so goes the country, and christianist, corporatist authoritarianism has shown it can change the game – act first, and buy (electoral, narrative, media) legitimacy later. Unless and until the left returns to FDR style, us vs. them shaping of primary emotional states (of which Obama has ventured a bit with his populism), democracy as the left likes to understand it is in big trouble. It’s a new game.

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