In 1952 the countries first ever national broadcast of the Republican and Democratic Conventions aired live from Philadelphia to the rest of the
nation. This was the first time in American history that news outlets were able to transmit live coverage of a political nature to remote regions of
the U.S., breaking down the walls of isolation in rural America and creating and atmosphere of cohesion, migration and national dialogue.
Lets have a look at the 1952 Republican Convention:
Let's have a look at the 1952 Democratic Convention:
The golden age of television in the 50's provided Americans with a new approach on how they would vote for potential candidates in future elections.
It also provided politicians a platform for reaching into households that were watching T.V. on a daily basis by using advertisements targeting the
public to gain momentum and sway opinion.
In 1952 Presidential Candidate Eisenhower launched the first ever campaign commercial into American households, produced by Roy Disney and Citizens
In the 1968 race to the White House America began to see it's first campaign commercials in color, but it was not the
first time color TV was videotape recorded.
Here is a Nixon ad from 68:
To browse through an entire archive of all the Presidential campaign commercials from 1952 - 2008 just click the link below. It's actually very
interesting to see how the landscape of America really hasn't changed much since then.
By way of television, politics has become a form of entertainment, dominated by money and profit, imagery and spin, hype and personality. We have
entered a new age of political discourse in which Americans, sheeplike, are content to think in sound bites and elect a president based on who can
deliver the best campaign slogans and punch lines. But the campaign rhetoric of the leading presidential contenders tells us absolutely nothing about
what the candidates can actually deliver. The candidates may very well hold substantive positions on critical issues of the day. Yet what we hear are
30-second platitudes, and all we see are airbrushed images and smiling faces. Between the incessant campaign commercials and televised debates,
America is being treated to a tightly crafted entertainment spectacle that gives credence to Ronald Reagan’s assertion that “Politics is just like
show business.” And the politicians have become the entertainers.
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