Last updated: September 24, 2008 - 8:20am
Sen. John McCain received considerable publicity for a television ad accusing his Democratic opponent of having "lashed out at Sarah Palin, dismissed her as good-looking . . . then desperately called Sarah Palin a liar. How disrespectful." In the two weeks after the Republican convention, the commercial aired seven times. Sen Barack Obama drew substantial media attention for a spot declaring: "John McCain is hardly a maverick. . . . Sarah Palin's no maverick, either. She was for the 'Bridge to Nowhere' before she was against it. Politicians lying about their records." During the same period, that commercial aired eight times. In the two-week period that ended Sunday, the McCain campaign released 25 ads, 12 of which aired fewer than 25 times. The Obama campaign released 28 ads, 11 of which aired fewer than 25 times. "They've smartly figured out that there's news of the day, and by feeding the content beast that is cable news and the blogosphere, they're getting out their unfiltered take on the news of the day," said Evan Tracey of TNS Media Intelligence/Campaign Media Analysis Group, which compiled the figures. Given the media's hunger for controversy, he said, "the campaigns are the enabling girlfriend." By contrast, McCain's most frequently aired spot during this period, casting him and Alaska Gov. Palin as the "original mavericks," aired 15,938 times. Obama's top spot, detailing the lobbying records of senior McCain aides, ran 14,809 times.
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