Republicans at war for TV dominance.
No one remembers 2004, when the Republican National Committee shut down ads against George W. Bush by bullying the national TV broadcasters. RNC’s chief counsel, Jill Holtzman Vogel, in a move that I am sure has pocketed her millions over six years since, sent a threat letter on RNC letterhead to about 250 stations Friday threatening lawsuits if they broadcasted them. This is a direct violation of our First Amendment Rights. This was also the start of the Republican effort to replace unbiased reporting with a new kind of shock conservative television. (They referred to it as biased towards the left since logical reporting conflicted with most Republican statements and agendas.)
In 2004 AND 2008, the party that spent the most money on advertising WON the presidency.
In the 2000 Presidential Campaign it was the first time that the political parties spent more than the candidates on television advertising through “soft money”. Combined with the controversial outcome that made many stop believing in true Democracy in America (The candidate with the most votes lost the election), this was the point at which both parties realized that money spent on advertising was the only indicator of who would win the White House. In fact the rule works for nearly every political position from the Presidency down to your local city council.
John McCain, the candidate who was outspent in 2008 and lost the election saw this as a danger to our country and helped pass the Campaign Reform Act of 2002. But like most laws and rules in our country, if the powerful want to get around it they will. A loophole was discovered by the Republican party and the ability to spend limitless amounts of cash on advertising began. “Section 527” political organizations were now able to funnel as much soft cash into campaigns as they wished. McCain’s brave attempt to stop money and advertising from determining democracy was now useless. Section 527 Political organizations popped up all over the place. Bush’s next election campaign in 2004 was the first to fully take advantage of this loophole. That was the campaign that Vogel used threats against television stations to make sure the Republicans had the most advertising.
Tactics like the one by Jill Holtzman Vogel would only work for one campaign. It worked to help limit the Democrat television exposure and won the election for Bush. American intelligence has clearly dropped to the point that saturation advertising works 100% of the time. If there are competing advertisers, the one that saturates the most completely wins the majority of the sales, votes, and/or opinion of the American Public. So in 2004, the Republicans came up with a perverted, anti-American, anti-democratic, but effective way to win that television dominance. What was their trick for 2008? Well they decided to start taking over the networks of Fox, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, and many of the smaller cable networks. They didn’t take them over with advertising dollars, they simply started planting right wing shock programs that brought in viewers.
If you think this is a crackpot idea, just take a look at the “national enquirer” model. Nothing in that paper is valid, true, or ethical, but at its peak it reached more than one out of every 7 people in America. As the news media fell into rapid decline, the printed media was replaced by right wing shock jocks like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and many more less popular shows on CNN and Fox News. The model of the National Enquirer, however, was still a valid model to use if you are unethical and simply care about winning.
Just like the readers of the Enquirer, everything these shock jocks say is taken as truth by their audience. If you think the Republicans have reached their limit of unethical behavior and false statements like “Obama is a racist”, then just take a look at an issue of the National Enquirer. The Republicans still have a long way to go in crass behavior before they reach their limit. They learned a valuable lesson in 2008 in which Obama outspent them in the campaign. Even with the Republican shock Jocks in full “bad behavior” mode, the Republicans still lost simply due to lack of funds in marketing. They will not repeat this mistake in 2012.
Watch for Republicans to outspend Democrats in 2012 and regain the Presidency. Never again in our countries history will a Presidential candidate reach the White house with the smallest budget. Republicans finally get it and they will spend every penny they have to make sure they are never outspent again.