Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why Not 5 Minute Political Ads?

Once in a great while, a 30 second political ad on TV actually informs, or at least says something substantive that needs being said. But way more often, regardless of whether I support the candidate or not, I roll my eyes at the level they stoop to in their attempts to sway a voter, pound a point, or misleadingly smear an opponent.

Remember those program length Ross Perot ads, where Mr Perot talked to the country, pointed to charts, and made his points? They may not have been quality journalism, but at least they attempted to engage the voter at a deeper level than the 30-second pitch.

Why can't we have something in between, lengthwise? It seems the average 30 minute sit-com has at least 5 minutes worth of ads in total - Why couldn't candidates buy the whole block and run a little information piece in a single mid-span interruption in the middle of a show? I suspect the networks wouldn't allow it, for fear that viewers would be lost to a competing show. But think how much more we could learn about the candidates, not just for president but for state and local offices as well. I think this should be a regular practice during election season. The average voter who is unwilling to read in-depth articles or listen to a Ross Perot style program might actually stick around to hear their President, Governor, or Congressperson explain their record, or a challenger explain why they would be a better choice.

Who owns those airwaves anyway? Oh yeah, we do. Wouldn't it be nice if it seemed like we did?

Posted by Walker Willingham at September 20, 2004 12:19 PM