Presidential Media Critique

This is an advertisement about Ben Carson. In this video his persona is associated with the constitution, both black and white families, cities, industry, and growth/ capitalism when we are shown the stock exchange.  The video culminates with a picture of the white house to reinforce Ben’s worthiness to be the president. Now it might be a weak link to the picture in my head but I now see Ben as an entrepreneurial man who came from the big city and made a name for himself.  He also cares about traditional family values because we see a mother teaching her children how to read and  a black family and a white family walking together and spending time together at the table.

The ad video is just something I looked up so I have not been exposed to any critiques of it by the media but the coverage would be different based on the media organization that is covering it.  Some might focus on the American ideal of working hard and getting a reward that he tries to embody.  Others might focus on  how he probably hasn’t defended the constitution yet even though he claims to in the ad.  Because media are extremely successful at telling us what to think about and studies now show that “they also tell us how to think about some objects” the critiques I view of this ad may transfer the salience in a different way to my head (42 Pictures in our heads).  I could possibly change the view I had after the first viewing because, especially in the televised platform, there is very little critical analysis mid-view.

I also think this ad will not be as effective as Ben wants it to be, historically black Americans vote democrat and vote the least.  If his success will be determined by how he relates to young black voters he may not be as successful as Obama because he is not attempting to put any hip hop or similarly cultural aspects into his ads.  I think he is playing to the normal demographic who votes republican, older white citizens and if he chooses to fight for votes that will already go to the republicans rather than branch out to try to find new votes or sway young impressionable voters he will not will the election.  During the 2008 election “black youth could use their hip hop coolness, fashion, music, and dance to impact political discourse.”  nothing in Dr. Carson’s ad said anything about these themes (225 Gosa).  If he had an endorsement by Common or Kanye West like Obama he would have a better chance of winning the young black vote but he also might lose the historically republican vote so he is in a difficult situation.

I believe that because of Ben’s stereotypical asymmetry with the usually republican presidential candidates he will not win or receive the nomination because he will be fighting stereotypes to get the young black vote and the older white vote.  The pictures in our heads will be too influenced by how the media talks about Dr. Carson, conservatives will have their opinion and liberals will have their opinions and if he is talked about in comparison to the common republican candidates his “otherness” will be too great.


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