SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 3, 2012

It's name-calling season ... and they don't like it

If you can't say anything nice about somebody, you must be in politics.

Or so it seems as November approaches and voters are inundated by a blizzard of negative campaign ads, with often ugly charges and even uglier counter-charges, delivered via television, radio, Internet, mail and street signs. Woe to the self-image of the candidate who takes them too personally.

Most people we encountered on the street yesterday don't like the ads much, either. But most aren't denying that they listen. And in many cases these advertisements have an impact.

"Unfortunately, negative ads do work," says Peter Maguire, a retired school principal now working as a docent at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. "People remember them."

He singles out one of the most contentious campaigns, the battle between sitting Congressman John Tierney, a Salem Democrat, and his Republican challenger, former state Sen. Richard Tisei of Wakefield.

"I wish I could remember the good things that Tierney and Tisei have to say, but it seems all I remember is the negative," Maguire said.

Tisei has attacked Tierney over his wife's admission in federal court to helping her brother file false tax returns. The congressman has responded by linking Tisei with conservative Republicans like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

"They're not getting to the message," Maguire said. "Neither is saying what they want to do. They seem to be intent on bringing each other down."

Jennifer Frye is a Salem resident recently arrived from Utah. Even so, she makes it clear she's not a supporter of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and Mormon with strong ties to Utah. Despite that, a look of distaste crosses her face as she sighs, "The other night I saw an (President Barack) Obama commercial and it was pretty negative."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Comments Tracker