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Monday, April 30, 2007

Money in politics: growing until it's obsolete?

An interesting essay in the NYTimes Magazine examines the roll of cash in national campaigns, particularly in buying ad time. $1.1 billion was spent on TV ads during the 2006 Congressional elections in the United States, and yet one homebrew ad made for free by an Obama supporter - and posted to YouTube - reached millions of Democratic voters (and has been viewed 3.2 million times).

As long as early campaign reporting involves constant scrutiny of fundraising goals, targets, and success, the media will continue to use money as a measure of political viability. But how much does it really matter when folks can TiVo your $50 million traditional attack ad but willingly seek out the homebrew one on YouTube?

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