The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


October 7, 2010

Negative campaigning

— Campaigning for the November election is in high gear and with it comes a full slate of negative ads meant to smear one’s opponent(s).

The mudslinging is not only distasteful, it typically reflects only a version of what may or may not be the truth.

Step back from the election for just a minute and think about this.

Have you ever said something that didn’t come out of your mouth just right? For plenty of us, it probably happens daily and maybe many times.

So, back to the issue of campaign ads, particularly those being broadcast. Sound bites are just what they are, snippets of a broader statement. Yes, in many instances they can give insight into how candidate A, or candidate B or C, may feel about an issue. But 5 or 10 or 15 seconds just can’t be seriously considered as really informational unless it is something glaring; that doesn’t happen often and that just doesn’t provide voters with a deep enough look.

Negative ads, while oftentimes effective because of their inflammatory nature, leave us disgusted and may be a direct reason why people don’t bother to vote.

Every time an election comes up, we try to encourage the public to exercise their American right to vote. Then after another poor turnout at the polls, the talk turns to voter apathy.

Resorting to negative campaigning turns us off. And most voters, if they are frank with you, would tell you it turns them off, too.

We will continue to try and give voters a deeper, balanced look as Nov. 2 draws closer. We have invited candidates in some races to appear for interviews and we will publish those detailed pieces in the days ahead.

We also are offering candidates the opportunity, free of charge, to submit a 500-word profile that we will print in a special section “In Their Own Words” just prior to Election Day.

Becoming an educated voter is vitally important to electing our future leaders, watching or listening to negative ads generated by spin doctors does nothing to accomplish that goal.

Text Only
Business Marquee
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Web Extra