Monday, June 11, 2012


Money is important in election. You can use it to fund local offices which can door-knock to promote your candidacy. A little more and you can purchase television ads, to persuade voters via the power of vague testimonials and grainy footage of your opponent. A little more than that, and you can use it to purchase your own television network and just have them promote you 24/7:
Former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) today launched her own cable television channel, which is dedicated solely to providing information about her Senate campaign and the issues facing Hawaii.

LL2012 can be found on digital channel 110 for Oceanic Time Warner subscribers. According to the cable company, this is the first time a U.S. political candidate has used a dedicated cable channel, the campaign said.

I don't even know what to say. My first question is how much material can she even have to fill up an entire channel? My second question is what are we coming to as a nation?

Via DK Elections.


Andrew said...

So this is hilarious, but also interesting in terms of media policy questions. I'd care a lot less about regulating political candidates opening their own channels than putting up ads by unkown funders on channels people do watch. For one, everything on this channel has the name attached. Second, if people actually watch this channel, it really is an example of a market choice since they have to switch channels, rather than Fox News trying to claim they're giving the people what they want, and relying on attention scarcity to not have people spend all their time looking for competing views. Of course, because I very much believe attention scarcity is a real thing, I don't believe this channel will be viewed by anyone who is not already an ardent supporter, so it's kind of wasted money, but I'd be interested to see what happens here.

PG said...

It's an all-infomercial channel-- not really difficult to do. As with such channels selling commercial products, there's probably a lot of replays. And Hawaii's probably a cheap media market. The only thing that surprises me slightly is that Lingle wouldn't be concerned about how overtly commercialized this makes her seem as a candidate, but I suppose the non-Tea Party parts of the GOP gave up that ghost long ago.