Political Ads: What’s the Truth?

Adrianna Wolf, Centurion Staff

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NBC and Fox news refused to air one of Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign ads after harsh backlash due to its racist nature, after millions had already viewed it.NBC decided to air the ad during a Sunday night football commercial break. Their action received a wave of negative feedback.
The ad references the caravan, or “migrant invasion,” making its way to the U.S. border. But the ad states the caravan includes 7,000 people, which is an exaggeration. It then cuts to a scene of a large group of people assumed to be immigrants, violently pushing against a fence, assumed to be the U.S. border.
It also references Luis Bracamontes, from Mexico, who was convicted of murdering two U.S. police officers. The ad highlights him stating, “Only thing that I regret is that I only killed two,” during his trial.
The ad references Luis Bracamontes to say, “Immigrants do not care about our laws.”
After all of this questionable content, inspirational music begins and an array of Donald Trump images are shown. It states Donald Trump will protect the U.S. and its borders.
It goes on to say “America’s future depends on you. Vote Republican.” At the end, Donald Trump states, “I am Donald Trump and I approve this message.”
After NBC and other news sources such as CNN refused to air the ad, Trump took to his twitter page stating, “CNN refused to run this ad, I guess they only run fake news and won’t talk about real threats that don’t suit their agenda. Enjoy. Remember this on Tuesday. #vote #voterepublican.”
Political ads have always been a large part of campaigning. Especially since the beginning of political parties.
Professor Jerry Millevoi, who teaches History at BCCC, directed me to multiple examples of political ads and their progression over time in the U.S.
Millevoi stated, “It is interesting to look at campaign ads before television and after television.”


Before television, politicians could only get information about themselves to the public through newspaper. Instead of using television, politicians were forced to actually go out and meet the people they were trying to win over in person.
A good example of this would be Harry S. Truman who ran for president in 1948. According to thebalancecareers.com, he shook over half a million hands while touring America.
Once television came around, voters could rely on image to determine their political votes. For example, the debate between Kennedy and Nixon. Many decided not to vote for Nixon because he looked ill while on camera.
“A lot of people do use image to form political opinions. Image has always been important,” stated Millevoi.
Society often makes conclusions based on image whether it’s about political figures or family members.
A little after Kennedy, the first negative ad came to light in the 1960s. Lyndon B. Johnson ran an ad which became known as “The Daisy Girl.”
The ad portrays a young girl counting petals on a daisy and associates it with the countdown to a nuclear explosion.Johnson is saying, “Vote for me and the U.S. will be safe from nuclear attacks.”
Even today, negative ads are a common part of political campaigns. It becomes difficult to know what is true and what is just blown out of proportion.
As shown in the racist Trump ad, it is not difficult to take current events and twist them into events that have potential to end the world. It is also an easy assumption to make that a lot of voters fall for these ads.
“It is important to know what is really true when you see a political ad. You should always do your own research and form your own opinion,” stated Millevoi.
As young voters at BCCC, it is our job to stay informed and pick candidates we think will help progress our country into a future we want to see and be a part of.
Millevoi stated, “We are the future so it is our job to be informed about our decisions.”

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