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Video in Politics: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Three stories about political video in its various forms. From the established media format of the political ad, as produced by the DSCC, to the new, potentially viral video of George Allen, to the legally murky status of the 'VNR,' here is how video continues to play an important role in the new politics.
The DSCC has released a new ad Secure, undercutting Republican rhetoric on homeland security. Note the alternating examples of debacles abroad: too few troops in Iraq, failure to prevent North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons, and shortcomings at home: cuts in law enforcement budgets, lax port security, etc.
Republican Senator (and potential 2008 Presidential candidate) George Allen released a much less targeted piece of media yesterday. At a campaign rally in Southwest VA, Allen singled out S.R. Sidarth, an Indian-American campaign aide to Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb, calling Sidarth "macaca" and offering a sarcastic "welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia." Sidarth was born and raised in Fairfax County, VA and it'll be interesting to see how this "macaca" comment plays in Iowa or in the DSCC's next ad.
The Center for Media and Democracy has released a report on what are called 'video news releases' or VNRs. VNRs are fake news pieces produced by corporations, and it is illegal to air them without disclosing their source. The report found 77 examples of local television stations violating this law, triggering an FCC investigation. The corporations producing these VNRs must be taking cues from the Bush administration, which produced its own fake news stories, until the GAO declared them "illegal covert propaganda."