Negative Campaign Rhetoric Reaches a New Low

Thursday, August 16, 2012

As Americans, we’ve grown accustomed to watching attack ads and hearing candidate criticism during the presidential campaign season, but what happens when that sort of negative rhetoric dominates the political narrative? Can we see past it to focus on the real issues at stake?

This election season, the campaign rhetoric appears to be overwhelmingly dominated by back-and-forth name-calling and character assaultsKathleen Hall Jamieson, the Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, takes a closer look at what's really being said.


Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Produced by:

Ellen Frankman

Comments [4]


I agree with Charles.

Aug. 18 2012 10:25 AM
Gary A. Anderson

Is it not true, during our political season, that few ads are based on truth? Is it not also true that political ads are designed to shed the truth, insinuate falsehoods and deceive the public? In short, are we not exposed to much fabrication masquerading as fact?

Aug. 17 2012 01:56 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Biden was not politically correct or appropriate but I think he should continue to talk about "putting you all back in chains.

He would be talking about me as well, I'm Jewish so he could be talking about Egypt...They had shackles back then, didn't they?

Let Biden talk, take out his gag, maybe he'll get around to talking about Wall Street and how Bankers need to have regulations put on them, so they won't be able to bring this country down...

Regulations on people who have been ripping this country off needs to be the topic and was really what Biden was trying to get at... It got mired in the "Chains" metaphor... but Romney was saying "unleash Wall Street" and Biden was saying "Wall Street needs to be monitored..."

Biden should apologize and then leave some soundbite about what he was really trying to say... Of course, does Wall Street have the chains on Obama is a question which needs to be examined.

Aug. 16 2012 09:56 AM

If a Republican had been the one to make the stupid and offensive comment, "they gonna put y'all back in chains," you can be assured that John Hockenberry would not have been playing games about how it was really a comment about the "middle class." And it wouldn't have taken a day to get to the story. And he wouldn't have retained Kathleen Hall Jamison to talk about broad generalities.

There would have been a pointed, partisan attack on the speaker and his or her party. Questions (unasked on The Takeaway) about whether the top of the ticket would condemn the stupid and offensive remarks.

This is what is so egregious about The Takeaway. NPR news is mostly fair, by comparison to The Takeaway. When people complain (rightly) about NPR's left wing bias, they really ought to be talking about the left wing bias of public radio, as particularly exemplified by the production of The Takeaway. If media observers 'measured' The Takeaway the way that recent studies have measured NPR and other media outlets' editorial bias, you guys would be off the charts.

Aug. 16 2012 08:54 AM

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