Political campaigns

COMMENT: Intertwining Political Campaigns with the Wizard of Oz – by MTSU Professor Dr. Larry Burriss

The Wizard of Oz, The Emperor Without Clothes, and Political Campaigns. With the interweaving of the three, here is Professor Larry Burriss of the MTSU School of Journalism & Strategic Media…

BURRISS COMMENT – Verbatim: “What do the Wizard of Oz and the Clothesless Emperor have in common?”

Well, they both could have been political consultants.

As we get closer and closer to the next election, in about 60 days, political consultants will, with few exceptions, try to stay away from the news. They want to be the power behind the election, with the hope that if their candidate wins, they will have even more lucrative jobs in the halls of power across the state and the country.

Political consultants manage campaigns. They buy advertising. They issued press releases. They manage all aspects of the campaign, from what a candidate is wearing to using a particular word in a speech.

But here’s the interesting thing: mounting evidence shows that what consultants do really doesn’t have much influence on the outcome of an election.

In 2008, Barack Obama’s campaign showed the power, not of advertising, but of volunteers and grassroots organizations. After all, it has been said that all politics is local, so the campaign worked very hard on grassroots organizations and issues. And won.

During the 2016 elections, Donald Trump denounced the use of consultants. But maybe that’s what the consultants told him to say. He who truly knows does not speak.

Of course, we can find examples, apocryphal at best, of campaign ads meant to sway the electorate one way or the other.

The daisy commercial for Lyndon Johnson and against Barry Goldwater in 1964, as well as the pro-George Bush and anti-John Kerry windsurfing commercial in 2004, are presented as destroying the campaigns of the losers.

But the evidence actually shows that the ads had virtually no impact on their respective elections.

Political campaigns, in themselves, are extremely important for voters to make informed decisions.

Political advisers? Well, I guess you need someone to pull the strings, polish the mirrors, and do the smoke. – I’m Larry Burriss.

About Dr. Burriss

Larry Burriss, a journalism professor, teaches introductory and media law courses. At the graduate level, he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University (BA in Broadcast Journalism, MA in Journalism), University of Oklahoma (MA in Human Relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in Journalism ) and Concord Law School (JD). He has worked in print and broadcast media and public relations, and has published numerous articles in academic and popular publications. He has won first place in the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest nine times. Dr. Burriss’ publications and presentations include studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photographs, radio news, legal issues related to teens’ use of social networking sites, legal research, and the Earth middle.

Dr. Burriss has served as Director of the School of Journalism, Dean of the College of Mass Communication, and Chairman of the MTSU Faculty Senate. He was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Regents. He was a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force and served on active duty in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.

Other headlines from WGNS NEWS: