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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #13)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 06:09 PM

93. It doesn't help to try and sugarcoat things with bad facts

Judge Judy (8 million), The Voice (12 million) and Parenthood (5 million) combined don't reach even half the number of people that watched last night's debate (58 million). Plus, the audience for those shows undoubtedly contains a much larger number of people who are below the voting age (or otherwise not likely to vote at all) than the audience for the debate. Plus, a lot of people record and time shift those shows so they can avoid commercials (while even those that recorded the debates won't be missing the debate performance and/or post-mortems).

And while over time, and over a lot more shows, ads will be seen by a lot of people, there is a significant amount of "ad fatigue" setting in with respect to the presidential race -- most people I know simply refuse to pay attention to the ads anymore.

Finally, there is the media message, which at least initially was that Obama "lost" and Romney "won". Unfortunately, the focus as is all too often the case was on style not substance. If -- and I hope it happens -- the media narrative shifts back to the substance of what was said in the debate, then things will be better, and to the extent the ads help change the narrative, that's great.

But it would be wrong to downplay the significance of the debates and of the immediate, narrowly focused media response to them. We have work to do and that work involves not merely relying on ads to let folks know about the substance of what Romney claimed and how it measures up against the facts, but on doing it ourselves through social media and other means.

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