Power Trips, Blogs, and the Ad Wars
Matt Stoller over at MyDD just put up a post entitled “MyDD Accountability Adwatch: Darcy Burner” that is meant to serve as a critique of the Washington State congressional candidate’s 1st television advertisement.
Now, I usually like MyDD and KOS not for their “people-powered politics” that sometimes but not always veres into anti-centrist rhetoric but because they do have powerful and insightful critiques of the Democratic party’s weaknesses.
This post, however, fell flat and died. Mr. Stoller complained about the ad not holding the Republicans accountable for Iraq or attacking Bush’s record in office.
Except that’s not the point of the ad!
Burner’s spot was a “bio ad” – that is, the typically first television ad that involves a soft pitch to votes using the candidate’s biography, but the main point of such an ad is to raise name recognition.
That is, bio ads are never about issues in the substantive sense, and they aren’t going to waste the first precious seconds of air time any voter sees of their candidate by talking about someone else.
He made a good point that she wasn’t clear on why she was running, but as this isn’t an accountability ad, or any number of issue ads (in the real sense), it’s not all that important that she tell us why she’s running. As long as she can convince us to care enough to remember her name, that’s all that matters.
I’d focus accountability ad watches on watching accountability ads, not bio ones.