Pity the poor TV viewers around the District of Columbia and Las Vegas.
If you think we’ve got it bad – constantly subjected to outrageous and obnoxious political ads that seem to increase exponentially – lend a smidgeon of compassion to the D.C.-area viewers whose TV stations have cut programs short to give them extra time to foist additional political ads on them. And in Las Vegas, according to the New York Times, viewers had to sit through 73,000 political TV ads as of Oct. 15 – the most in the country at that time. How many more ads have the Vegas audience had to tolerate in the two-and-a-half weeks since?
It’s bad enough around here, where a week or so ago, we caught one TV station joining the 5:30 network news late so it could squeeze in an extra political spot. (Viewers always enjoy a station doing that sort of thing so that when the news does come on, the viewers get to see only part of the leading news story.) Mostly, though, in other areas, stations are just inserting extra ads in newscasts, shaving the amount of time they devote to news itself.
I blame much of it on greed. As a former radio station owner, I think I can understand management’s thought process. Broadcasters need to accept ads from candidates, but could put a limit on buys from political actions committees (PACs), whose ads are generally awful.