Accentuating The Negative:
Lying, Betrayal, And Weaponized Words In Attack Ads
By Frank X. Mullen
Want a reaction from voters? Then push the right buttons: fear, outrage, contempt, anger and guilt-by-association are all tried and true strategies that spark responses from the electorate.
At least that’s what some Nevada candidates are betting on with their broadcast and internet ads.
In the state-wide campaigns for U.S. Senate, issues take a back seat to innuendo and accusation. There are some positive ads that focus on a candidate’s accomplishments – Sen. Dean Heller’s advocacy for veterans or Rep. Jacky Rosen’s stances in support of Planned Parenthood or Obamacare – but the vast majority of ads are accusations hurled at opponents.
One ubiquitous ad series attacking Heller offers a clever metaphor: politician as invertebrate
And here’s a variation on the theme.
Heller’s team, meanwhile, is calling Rosen a liar in this ad.
In another ad blitz, Heller is drawing a straight line between Jane Fonda’s visit to Hanoi during the Vietnam War and what he sees as Rosen’s neglect of veterans’ issues today
Can it get nastier? Political observers say it can — and it will — before Election Day, but don’t look for a lot of emphasis on issues. Nasty sells in Nevada. If it didn’t, experts say, we wouldn’t be seeing the attack ads.