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Negative Attack Advertising

Decent Essays
In the article “What Strategies Promote Fair Political Campaigns?” from the book Political Campaigns, Darrell M. West, a correspondent from CNN, states that when negative attack ads are deceptive, they undermine the political process. West acknowledges that attack ads that focus on the issues are appropriate and inevitable. Though, West adds that misleading ads that twist the truth, lie about candidates, or take statements out of context, threaten the electoral system. “ Attack ads . . . have twisted the truth, lied about personal background, taken statements out of context, and clearly sought out to manipulate voter sentiments,” says West. Numerous arguments exist if attack ads should be commonplace in the political process. There are many…show more content…
The first argument that supports this idea is that attack ads have created distrust between politicians and their constituents. ThisNation.com published the article “Do negative attack ads work?” which mentions that a study was conducted that showed 59% of the population believes that all or most candidates deliberately twist the truth in their attack ads. This in turn has caused constituents to be weary about politicians because many feel that at every moment in some way or another the are being lied to or mislead. This argument is further supported in the ThisNation.com because of those surveyed 67% of people say they can trust the government in Washington only some of the time or never. The findings in this study are a cause for concern because it shows that as attack ads have gotten more negative the more constituents distrust politicians and the political process. The second argument that supports this notion is that attack ads have created an atmosphere for political manipulation. Journalist Darrell M. West discussed in the article “ 2008 campaign attack ads hit an all-time low” from CNN.com that while attacks ads have existed since the creation of the United States. That the 2008 presidential election had taken a turn for the worst. West states, “Attack ads broadcasted . . . have twisted the truth, lied about personal…show more content…
One side makes the claim that negative attack ads contribute to a healthier democracy and are a positive aspect of the political process. While the other side makes the argument that negative attack ads create distrust between constituents and their politicians and also can create an atmosphere for political manipulation. While both sides have had substantial support from experts it seems that the debate will continue on whether negative attack ads should be commonplace in the political
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