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April 20, 2011

How to Buy Media Coverage (Almost Literally)

The Hotline notes that the DCCC "pulled one of the oldest tricks in the book this week, buying radio ads in tiny amounts in hopes of earning local media coverage. And, despite Republicans' best efforts, it actually worked."

The Democratic campaign arm spent less than $6,000 on radio spots that sought to attack Republicans on the Paul Ryan budget. "In some districts, the committee plopped down money that wouldn't make a respectable power lunch in Washington; the committee spent only $40 in Rep. Larry Bucshon's district in southwest Indiana, and just $60 in districts in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois and South Dakota."

"Such small buys aren't intended to influence an electorate. Instead, they're aimed at influencing the journalists in those districts ... Those journalists won't bother to check and see how much Democrats paid for those ads ... At least 14 local news outlets wrote up the ad buys, and few of them went back to note the relative pittance Democrats put behind them."


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