Independent Congressional candidate Cindy Sheehan goes after her opponent, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in new ad

H/T Kim Wilder

33 thoughts on “Independent Congressional candidate Cindy Sheehan goes after her opponent, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in new ad

  1. Pascal123

    I really wish this site would stop referring to YouTube videos as “ads.”

    Some of us subscribe to IPR via RSS feed and when I see “ad” I think “wow, a 3rd party / independent candidate is advertising – this is news!” and I open up the link only to find someone put together a little video on their computer and uploaded it to YouTube.

    I’m genuinely interested to hear about 3rd and I candidates running ads (i.e. paid announcements that run on terrestrial television / radio or appear in a general circulation newspaper or magazine) such as Ralph Nader and Bob Barr have recently done (as well as a smattering of others). Someone setting up a tripod in their living room to record their manifesto and then uploading it to YouTube is of less interest to me. Perhaps we could bundle all of those little missives into a single “summary” post each week?

    Anyway, just a gentle suggestion.

  2. paulie cannoli Post author

    Youtube ads can circulate on the internet and reach voters, no less so than radio, TV or newspaper ads. If a campaign spends a couple of hundred dollars to get a few of them on radio shows or cable TV in the middle of the night, it doesn’t guarantee it will get any more listeners or viewers than on youtube. Youtube videos can go viral, reaching many more people than radio or TV ads in some cases.

    Additionally, I have little way of knowing which of these ads may have been on radio or TV, or might be put on there in the future. In fact, it is possible that if some potential donors see one of these here and decide to donate to the candidate on that basis, some may end up on radio or TV precisely because we play them here.

  3. Pascal123

    I’m certainly not trying to argue that a viral video can, in some cases, not have greater reach than an advertisement. I’m simply trying to note that there is a functional difference between the terms “viral video” and “advertisement.”

    “Additionally, I have little way of knowing which of these ads may have been on radio or TV”

    Here are some tips and pointers to help:

    1. If a video is one minute and 43 seconds long, or 51 seconds long or some length of time other than :30 or :60, it’s pretty likely it’s never been on TV/ Radio.

    2. If a video looks like it was designed by a high school keyboarding student or was voiced into a microphone from RadioShack chances are it’s never been on TV/Radio.

    These aren’t hard and fast rules, by any means, but pretty solid indicators.

    “In fact, it is possible that if some potential donors see one of these here and decide to donate to the candidate on that basis, some may end up on radio or TV precisely because we play them here.”

    For a variety of technical reasons there’s really no possibility of that.

    But, if there were, accuracy would still dictate that – until this remote circumstance happens – every write-in candidate for Anytown city council who holds a camera in front of their face and uploads the result to YouTube is not reported on as “running advertising.”

    Again, I’m not arguing about the efficacy of viral videos. This is a simple suggestion about accuracy in reporting terminology.

    (Frankly, it’s also a little bit of a slight to campaigns like Nader’s which just spent $250K on a flight of radio ads or Barr’s which spent ??? on TV ads to grant a marketing equivalency to free web videos, and lessens the legitimacy of appearance of 3rd and I candidates, generally.)

  4. Pascal123

    One other comment and then I’ll move on – in industry jargon (and, if I’m not mistaken, U.S. Code definition) an “advertisement” is a “paid announcement.” A YouTube video, by the nature of the thing, is not a “paid announcement.”

  5. paulie cannoli Post author

    I respectfully disagree with your opinion.

    But, if there were, accuracy would still dictate that – until this remote circumstance happens – every write-in candidate for Anytown city council who holds a camera in front of their face and uploads the result to YouTube is not reported on as “running advertising.”

    Advertising is defined as (by dictionary.com)

    ——————————————–

    advertising – 5 dictionary results

    1. the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc., esp. by paid announcements in newspapers and magazines, over radio or television, on billboards, etc.: to get more customers by advertising.

    2. paid announcements; advertisements.

    3. the profession of planning, designing, and writing advertisements.

    1. to announce or praise (a product, service, etc.) in some public medium of communication in order to induce people to buy or use it: to advertise a new brand of toothpaste.

    2. to give information to the public about; announce publicly in a newspaper, on radio or television, etc.: to advertise a reward.

    3. to call attention to, in a boastful or ostentatious manner: Stop advertising yourself!

    6. to ask for something by placing a notice in a newspaper, over radio or television, etc.: to advertise for a house to rent.

    7. to offer goods for sale or rent, solicit funds, etc., by means of advertisements: It pays to advertise.

    1. To make public announcement of, especially to proclaim the qualities or advantages of (a product or business) so as to increase sales. See Synonyms at announce.

    2. To make known; call attention to: advertised my intention to resign.

    3. To warn or notify: “This event advertises me that there is such a fact as death” (Henry David Thoreau).

    1. To call the attention of the public to a product or business.

    2. To inquire or seek in a public notice, as in a newspaper: advertise for an apartment.

    1. The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.

    2. The business of designing and writing advertisements.

    3. Advertisements considered as a group: This paper takes no advertising.

    1. a public promotion of some product or service

    2. the business of drawing public attention to goods and services

    ————————————————–

    You’ll notice that, although some of the definitions involve spending money, others do not. Some of the definitions do not limit by what means or media an advertisement draws attention; thus, a youtube ad would qualify.

    However, in deference to your request, in cases where I am aware that a particular clip was or will be paid to be played on radio or TV, I will add the words “paid,” “radio,” “TV,” etc.

    Frankly, it’s also a little bit of a slight to campaigns like Nader’s which just spent $250K on a flight of radio ads or Barr’s which spent ??? on TV ads to grant a marketing equivalency to free web videos, and lessens the legitimacy of appearance of 3rd and I candidates, generally.

    Did Barr spend any money on TV ads? As far as I know, his ads may be internet-only youtube clips as well, even if they are designed to be played on television. I know he has some radio ads.

    Do other people here have an opinion on this?

  6. Ross Levin

    I think this might actually be airing on TV. I know Cindy Sheehan is airing some TV ads, and the story I read it from said that it was being displayed on the main page of her website, and this video is all that was there.

    But yeah, it might be helpful to differentiate between ads and Youtube videos.

    Thanks for subscribing to the RSS!

    And what’s wrong with highschool keyboarding students designing Youtube videos?

  7. Pascal123

    I respectfully disagree with your opinion.

    Thanks but it’s not really an opinion, it’s a statement of fact. Webster’s definition is not analogous to the U.S. Code definition, advertising industry recognized terminology and common perception as to what constitutes an “advertisement.” YouTube videos may advertise something but in no “commonly” recognized definition are they advertisements.

    I think this might actually be airing on TV.

    I will bet $1,000 to anyone here who wants to take it that a 1:34 thing is not airing on any TV station. Ads just aren’t sold in 1:34 blocks of time.

  8. G.E.

    Pascal thinks the state, and not the free market, define language.

    The state did not invent language. It was a creature of anarchy.

    You are wrong to say the state’s definition of “advertisement” is the commonly held one. It shows that you apparently don’t talk with real, live human English speakers and/or are a moron.

  9. paulie cannoli Post author

    I don’t think Pascal is a moron.

    Pascal seems knowledgeable and intelligent to me, but we do have a difference of approach.

    For one thing, much of the impact of political advertisements takes place when they are discussed by news commentators, and played without pay. Although I have no examples immediately in mind, this sometimes happens with ads that are rejected from actual commercial play for being too controversial.

  10. Pascal123

    GE – with respect, I am stating that there are three linguistic perceptions of the word: (1) state, (2) the industry in which it’s most commonly used, (3) common nomenclature. A strict dictionary definition of the word produces a different result, as it does with many words versus their common usage.

    It’s a little silly to argue this on ideological grounds so I’ll exit this now; anyone is certainly free to call any video on YouTube, any piece of paper which a handwritten note is scrawled upon and left under a car windshield wiper, etc. an “advertisement.” Once again, though, the word “advertisement” conjures one common perception and YouTube video is not it.

    You can communicate any way you like. You can call elephants “bozilkars”, you can call the color green “blue”, whatever. The likelihood, though, is that it will produce a gap of comprehension as posts here which call little YouTube lectures “advertisements” do.

  11. Pascal123

    For one thing, much of the impact of political advertisements takes place when they are discussed by news commentators, and played without pay. Although I have no examples immediately in mind, this sometimes happens with ads that are rejected from actual commercial play for being too controversial.

    That’s true. But even in those cases the advertisement meets a production standard in which it could, hypothetically, air as an ad, which excuses the commentary sans buy. The above YouTube video could never be played live on-air for 6 different reasons that it appears increasingly purposeless for me to itemize here.

    In any case, it was just a simple suggestion on nomenclature, nothing else.

  12. richardwinger

    Cindy Sheehan ads have been running on network TV. Tonight I saw one on the Keith Olberman (spelling?) show, and several friends of mine, also in San Francisco, have told me they have seen Cindy Sheehan network TV ads also.

  13. Pascal123


    Fliers left on car windshields are not a form of advertising?

    Once again, and honestly I really don’t know how else I can phrase this to bridge the gap of comprehension that apparently exists, when you say:

    “John Dow is advertising is candidacy.”

    For most people, there is an implication via common usage that conveys and understand he is doing something beyond putting fliers on people’s windshields or throwing customized paper airplanes out his 3rd story apartment window.

    I’m going to quit now because I’m not interested in arguing ideology or dictionary definitions. All I was trying to do is point out that applying the word “advertisement” to “YouTube video” is misleading as most people understand the term and frustrating to those of us who see headlines like “Socialist / Libertarian / Green / Independent / Catholic Trotskyist Candidate X is Running Ads in Alaska!” and excitedly open them up only to find out it’s some dude’s YouTube video he pounded out on his PC and uploaded.

  14. Pascal123

    Cindy Sheehan ads have been running on network TV

    Great! This is the kind of news I would love to read about!

  15. paulie cannoli Post author

    Cindy Sheehan ads have been running on network TV. Tonight I saw one on the Keith Olberman (spelling?) show, and several friends of mine, also in San Francisco, have told me they have seen Cindy Sheehan network TV ads also.

    Well, does anyone have a copy of those?

  16. Pascal123

    From a link on her website:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X_5MLbpCc0

    (Only because it appears necessary to state this: yes, the above is an “advertisement.” It is an advertisement that has also been uploaded to YouTube, but it is an advertisement. The YouTube video at the top of this page is a fan film or viral video or whatever, but it is not an advertisement as most people commonly understand the term.)

  17. HumbleTravis

    I’m a big proponent of criticizing Pelosi and the Democratic leadership but there’s no better way to get people to roll their eyes than to sprinkle your rhetoric with Nazi references. It reminds me of the dumbest form of college “activism”. Cool to hear DJ Shadow’s “mongrel” in the video though.

  18. Pascal123


    That clips is 32 seconds. Are you sure it is an advertisement?

    It’s :30. There’s a 2-second bleed.

  19. Pascal123

    As an aside, Cindy’s ad is very recognizable as a template ad from a pretty good political ad agency that’s headquartered in LA … that particular template used I believe they charge around $800. Which shows you can produce a good ad for minimal expenses. (Of course buying air time is a different question, I understand she purchased 312 spots which would have been $ in SFO.)

  20. Jeremy Young

    Pascal, the youtube video up top says “Paid for by OperationItch.” Does that constitute an advertisement because somebody paid to have it produced? (As an aside, OperationItch should get their money back.)

  21. Spence

    I agree. The heading is misleading. “Cindy Sheehan goes after her opponent…in new ad”… well don’t all ads go after their opponent in some way? It also further misleads people into believing that this ad was actually put out by her.

    For example, it doesn’t say “Sheehan [supporter[ goes after Pelosi in new ad”…

    Also, I agree with the semantics argument made by Pascal. In the future, to clear up misconception, “youtube ad” would be better to clarify content.

  22. G.E.

    For most people, there is an implication via common usage that conveys and understand he is doing something beyond putting fliers on people’s windshields or throwing customized paper airplanes out his 3rd story apartment window.

    Not true. Stating it as fact only makes you look like a pompous ass.

  23. Pascal123

    GE – with all due respect I’m afraid it is true. There’s no additional way I can argue this point with you. It would be akin to you claiming most people think the sky is green and challenging me to prove it otherwise. I’m sorry I can’t help you. I appreciate your vigorous and passionate comments, however.

    Best of Luck,
    – P

  24. Pascal123

    Just one other comment, generally directed – aside from pure semantics there is also a functional difference between opt-in and opt-out media.

    Opt-In Media, such as a YouTube fan film or fun video requires someone to do something in order to view said video.

    Opt-Out Media, such as a TV or Radio ad or an online ad, requires someone to do something to avoid viewing it.

    This is an important distinction in terms of reaching voters. The reasons will be obvious to a person of reasonable intelligence operating under reasonable circumstances.

  25. Pascal123

    Pascal, the youtube video up top says “Paid for by OperationItch.” Does that constitute an advertisement because somebody paid to have it produced?

    No. A thoughtful review of previous comments in this thread will explain why. There’s no real point for me to reinvent the wheel for each new person who joins this conversation.

    Best of Luck,
    – P

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