Five Paragraph Essay Model Paper instructions: 1) Initial posting, Write a short essay using the œFive Paragraph Essay Model (5 to 7 paragraphs), which, identifies and discusses the importance of political commercials, including consideration of whether politicians benefit by use of œattack ads. 2) Identify and discuss your three favorite commercials. (In identifying and discussing your three favorite commercials, you should explain your reasons.) IMPORTANT PLEASE READ: In preparing for your Initial Posting, Watch & Discuss political commercials, as presented in The Living Room Candidate, and/or as attached in the Week 4 folder. In your viewing of political commercials trace their history and evolution. (In this week’s folder, you will find a link to The Living Room Candidate, which is a web site that houses political campaigns. (Please feel free to browse the site and examine the commercials from the oldest to the most recent.) Additionally, I am attaching a video synopsis for your study and evaluation that relate to several older commercials: Johnson: œPeace, Little Girl (œDaisy spot), 1964; Nixon: œCrime, 1968; Carter: œWelfare, 1976; Reagan: œMorning in America, 1984; Bush: œRevolving Door, 1988. (PLEASE USE ) The living room candidate “ 1 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Johnson: œPeace, Little Girl (œDaisy spot), 1964 Video Synopsis In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson was running for re-election against Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater. Since Goldwater was known for conservative stances and provocative statements, Johnson ran several ads that portrayed the challenger as a reckless and dangerous extremist who was not fit to be president. Johnson’s most controversial ad was the œDaisy ad featuring a young girl in a meadow pulling petals off of a daisy while in the background the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion filled the screen. At the time, the ad was considered so graphic that widespread public and media criticism forced the pulling of the spot after only one broadcast. Although relatively tame by contemporary standards, the ad is important because it demonstrated the power of attack ads to demonize the opponent. Critical Thinking Questions 1. What visual images stand out in this ad? 2. This ad was broadcast only once because there were so many public and media complaints about its graphic message. Which feature(s), if any, do you find objectionable in this ad? 3. What makes this an effective ad? 4. News reports condemned this ad and forced its removal from the airwaves. Why is it the responsibility of the press to review the content of ads? 5. Do you think the consultant who made this ad should be praised or condemned? 2 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Nixon: œCrime, 1968 Video Synopsis In 1968, with a number of major American cities in turmoil from riots and the nation reeling from the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., Nixon campaigned on a law and order platform. Expressly designed to capture support in the South and West, Nixon emphasized his toughness on crime and ability to restore order to a nation that was on the verge of chaos. In the three-way race with Democrat Hubert Humphrey and independent candidate George Wallace, Nixon won the presidency in his second attempt at the highest office in the land. Critical Thinking Questions 1. Why did Nixon emphasize the crime issue in 1968? 2. How did this ad help Nixon in Southern states? 3. How did Democrats deal with the crime issue after 1968 in order to limit political damage? 4. How do the dynamics of a three-way race for president differ from a situation when there are only two major candidates running for president and how does this affect advertising? 5. How was the crime ad seen by different groups of voters? 3 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Carter: œWelfare, 1976 Video Synopsis In 1976, Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter shocked the political establishment by running as an outsider who was not a creature of Washington, D.C. Disillusioned by Richard Nixon’s dishonesty in Watergate and subsequent resignation from office, Carter campaigned on personal character and promised he would never lie to the American public. His ads captured the cynical American mood after Watergate and allowed him to become one of the few presidents who won the highest office despite the opposition of much of his party’s leadership. Critical Thinking Questions 1. How did Carter’s ad reflect the national political mood? 2. How did Carter’s ad establish his credentials as a political outsider? 3. How did Carter overcome the objections of many Democratic leaders? 4. Why didn’t other Democratic presidential candidates in 1976 attempt to position themselves as outsiders to take advantage of the anti-Washington sentiment in the country? 5. How did the media cover Carter and his ads? 4 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Reagan: œMorning in America 1984 Video Synopsis In 1984, the American economy had regained strength after a deep recession in 1981 and 1982. Seeking to take advantage of the good feeling that had returned to the United States with the economic recovery, the Reagan camp broadcast this ad. Featuring soft tones and a mellow voice-over, this ad played to Reagan’s argument that he deserved re-election over Walter Mondale because of peace and prosperity. The arguments made in this ad eventually culminated in Reagan’s famous line during a debate asking Americans to assess whether they were œbetter off than they were four years ago. On Election Day, the answer came back a resounding yes and Reagan coasted to a landslide victory. Critical Thinking Questions 1.Why did Reagan run this kind of positive ad in 1984 as opposed to going on the attack? 2. What images stand out in this ad? 3. How did this ad help position Reagan politically? 4. Who sponsored this ad? 5. What made the ad effective? 5 Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Bush: œRevolving Door, 1988 Video Synopsis In 1988, Vice President George Bush was seeking to succeed President Ronald Reagan and become the first sitting vice president to win election to the presidency in his own right since Martin Van Buren in 1836. Discovering that opponent Michael Dukakis had released on furlough a convicted black murderer named William Horton who then raped a white woman, Bush strategists made this spot to dramatize what they saw as a gubernatorial record that was soft on crime. Although the ad never mentioned the name of Horton, it was timed with extensive news media coverage about the Horton case so that voters could draw a direct connection between the Horton story and Dukakis being soft on crime. The ad was repeatedly mentioned in news stories and is seen as an effective example of a hard-hitting attack ad. Critical Thinking Questions 1. Although this ad mainly focused on Dukakis’ crime record, minority organizations attacked the ad for its racial overtones. How does this ad introduce race into the crime issue? 2. Unlike the œDaisy ad, which reporters forced Johnson to stop airing, many news stories praised this ad as an effective commercial. What does this tell us about the news media? 3. Dukakis was slow to respond to this ad and criticize it for mixing crime and race. What consequences arose for future campaigns from Dukakis’ decision not to respond quickly to Bush’s attack? 4. Women voters were particularly influenced by Bush’s œRevolving Door ad and by news reports about the Horton rape while on furlough. Why were women more likely to cite crime as an important national problem after viewing this ad? 5. Why is this ad considered an effective example of an attack ad?