Re: Editorial: ‘Let’s admit we get a kick out of attack ads’
In 1976, Neil Postman argued in Amusing Ourselves To Death, that television was undermining serious political discourse. It was doing so he noted, by reducing debate to short bursts ( 2 minutes on nuclear proliferation). It defined winning a debate by determining who got off the best one liner. It reduced the process to the level of cheap entertainment. Attack ads are the offspring of that reductio ad absurdum.
If there is anything that recent events have shown, it is that our political process cannot be in the hands of small minded angry minds. That is precisely why we should reject attack ads. Our political process is too important not to be taken seriously.