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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Perot Style

posted by on October 9 at 13:57 PM

Is Obama really buying a half hour of primetime on the networks?

Barack Obama has purchased a half-hour of airtime on CBS, sources confirm.

The Obama campaign will air a half-hour primetime special on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m.

Sources say the Obama camp is also in talks with NBC and Fox. NBC is said to be very near a deal. With Fox, the matter is likely to remain uncertain as the time period could conflict with Game 6 of the World Series.

God, I hope so. This is a great idea.

UPDATE: You know it’s a great idea when conservatives begin attacking it immediately. The second and third comments on that story I linked to are wonderfully wingnut:

I am sure Hitler would also have loved to do this if he had the chance in the 30s. After all, Obama already has his Hilter’s Youth marching in droves online and every media outlet championing him as the black messiah.=

Posted by: Bob | October 09, 2008 at 01:18 PM


This should be illegal…Its called buying an election

Posted by: bigtad | October 09, 2008 at 01:18 PM

RSS icon Comments


I'll post here because Eli is late.

FOX? Seriously? FOX? I'm not sure if I get this part? Undecideds are not watching FOX. Undecideds are watching So You Think You Can Dance. Buy a two minute spot there.

Posted by heywhatsit | October 9, 2008 2:15 PM

Well, he already has his own station on the DISH network.

Posted by PopTart | October 9, 2008 2:23 PM

I'm really hoping that he gets all the channels and roadblocks the airwaves.

@1: You remember when Obama went on O'Reilly? How many votes do you think that got him? It made the point that he's not scared and that he'll go over and do the tough interviews. Can you imagine Palin being interviewed by Olberman?

Posted by Graham | October 9, 2008 2:28 PM

This is a great idea!

Posted by Suz | October 9, 2008 2:30 PM

This is a great idea, including buying on FOx, and refelcts Obama's and his campaign team's smarts.

He has the dough. what do you think we contributed it for?

We're in an economic mess. He needs to talk to the NATION.

He hopefully will not only persaude undecideds to vote for him (though doing just fine on that already , see

but will lead and clam us by setting forth his plans to avert a depression.

In this process, it is helpful to go on Fox too. why in the world would you think it is inadvisable to speak to people who don't already agree with you? isn't the idea to change their mind?

Wathcing Fox are lots of folks who have been abnadoned by the Demo party in recent decades as the party gets away from economic reform and adopted lots of dumb cultural issues. (Not, not all of them were dumb; some were).

We can get them back and get a bigger than FDR coalition.

Please, please understand; to get anything done we need more than a simple majority. We need 60 senators. You only get that when you get lots of "conservatives" (who are economically not doing so great) to join in with all the cultural liberals.

Yes. Unity. One America. Not red or blue.


This is a great move and I'm putting it down on my calendar to watch. The reason Obama is great is his speaking. Of course he shoudl give himself the venue to take advantage of that. I hope he really lats out the rotten GOP frame of wild unregulated markets and moves us to a frame of all acting together for the national good by having govt. streeing of finance, health, infra. and r and d, greening, etc.

Unity y'all--

Posted by PC | October 9, 2008 2:30 PM

@1: He's not buying time on Fox News, he'd be buying time on the Fox Network, home of The Simpsons and American Idol. I think there are plenty of undecideds there.

Posted by Paul Constant | October 9, 2008 2:31 PM

I distinctly remember watching a very similar campaign-funded Bill Clinton 30-minute piece in 1992, and if memory serves, it was the day before the election.

Posted by matt | October 9, 2008 2:33 PM

This sounds like a great idea. But why is he doing it during the World Series? If this all shakes out the way it's described, let's hope there's no game 6.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | October 9, 2008 2:39 PM

Does this obligates the networks to provide airtime for McCain as well, or do they just have to extend to him a similar offer they made with Obama? Granted, I can't imagine even die hard McCain supporters are able to sit through a half hour of him talking.

Posted by Dougsf | October 9, 2008 2:40 PM

HA HA! suck it, fascists!

Posted by max solomon | October 9, 2008 2:51 PM

Is he perhaps modeling this on the fireside chats, given the degree of economic unrest? If so, it seems wise to both turn it to his advantage in terms of getting votes and also start early as people are scared NOW and January is a long way away. If this is what he's doing when he's campaigning, I wonder if he'd do something similar once he's actually President.

Posted by Beguine | October 9, 2008 2:57 PM

Republicans crying poverty is the GREATEST SOUND EVER.

Posted by Big Sven | October 9, 2008 3:04 PM

What's he going to use the 30-minutes for? Will he give a speech? Will he air something like Keating Economics?

Posted by N | October 9, 2008 3:07 PM

I think this calls for another donation! This, the month before the election, is where we will really get to see the fruits of our donations, as Obama unleashes his massive financial resources against a depleted and (quickly becoming) demoralized McCain campaign.

Posted by Hernandez | October 9, 2008 3:14 PM

Just don't use any pie charts.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 9, 2008 3:31 PM


Short answer: yes, but with qualifications. The nets are obligated to offer equal air time at the same terms, conditions and rates that Obama pays, but McSame would still have to pay for the time, nonetheless.

And given the paucity of McSame's publicly-financed war chest, I doubt he's got much in the way of spare cash right now to go toe-to-toe with Obama in this particular arena.

Posted by COMTE | October 9, 2008 4:02 PM

I strogly disagree with bigtad's comment. Anything that helps people with more money have more influence is a good thing in my book. Can we have our votes weighted in proportion to the taxes we pay?

Posted by David Wright | October 9, 2008 4:04 PM

Sweet! Our own Hugo Chavez!

Posted by drunkel | October 9, 2008 4:06 PM

Alright no one is talking about this, but I'm still stuck on it. Clinton broadcast "The Man From Hope" on Monday Nov. 1st 1992 - the night before election day. It was bio stuff from the DNC that year, but I had never seen it, so it was new to that 18 year old. I liked it.

Perot did multiple (10+) 30- and 60-minute commercials; about the campaign, introducing his family, etc.

I am guessing Obama's single half hour will be more like Clinton's and less like Perot's. It's exciting, but it's not unprecedented for a Democrat to do this.

"Clinton aides said the half-hour spot they have bought to be broadcast on the networks Monday night will have an upbeat message and will include footage from the biographic film shown at the Democratic National Convention that depicted Mr. Clinton as a man of unstinting honor."

Posted by matt | October 9, 2008 4:19 PM

Buying an election is illegal? Well, the very first vote I cast was against a new stadium for the Seahawks. That quickly taught me otherwise.

Posted by Gitai | October 9, 2008 4:23 PM

I hope there will be musical numbers. Any chance of getting the June Taylor Dancers back together?

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 9, 2008 5:00 PM

It can give nothing but 'hope' to conservatives to hear the Mr Obama has decided to emulate Mr Ross Perot.

As far as big TV-time airbuys go ... I find myself in agreement with Noam Chomsky, who said that the US mainstream media is propaganda that is very effective because very few people recognize that this is propaganda. He noted that media will argue vigorously about issues within a well-defined spectrum, but outside that spectrum of issues, the media marginalizes issues and ignores them. The media controls thought by defining what is a valid topic for discussion and what topics are not. It seems to work best with very smart people.

Posted by Seajay | October 9, 2008 9:16 PM

I receive two hundred channels on my television.Even though I may vote democrat, I sure as fuck am NOT going to watch a half hour infomercial from Obama anytime or anywhere. Why would any one else? Spend your money somewhere more useful Mr. Obama.

Posted by Regular TV Viewer | October 10, 2008 2:58 AM

@22: Chomsky steals from Adorno again. What a hack.

Posted by eric sic | October 10, 2008 8:54 AM

"Chomsky steals from Adorno again. What a hack."

Him and Ed Herman both, in "Manufacturing Consent." But hacks are like stopped clocks; they can happen to be right once in a while.

Posted by Seajay | October 10, 2008 11:15 AM

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