In one of the more interesting surveys conducted in the last few months, the New York Times reported on the political television advertising habits of the GOP and the results weren’t surprising:
Republicans bought nearly three times as many ads as Democrats on “Saturday Night College Football,” more than twice as many on “Sunday Night NFL Football” and Nascar racing, and almost twice as many during Major League Baseball games.
Republicans also out-advertised Democrats on crime shows, placing roughly one-third more ads on shows like “Detroit 1-8-7,” “Medium,” “Cops,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “48 Hours Mystery” and “NCIS.”
This leads me to a few unscientific, oversimplified theories:
- Republicans see things in black and white. Right wingers aren’t very good at delving into the gray area in subjects. Sports, cop shows, and mysteries all have very specific winners and losers. In American sporting events, one team wins, the other loses. The notable exception? Soccer. And we know how much Republicans love European things. As for the cop dramas, we don’t see much ambiguity. There are none of those severely flawed characters who we come to empathize with because of our deep, dark personal desires. Republicans don’t like to go there. In reality, Republicans are clearly black and white when it comes to policy, especially regarding crime. For the GOP, being tough on crime has meant going by the book and not listening to excuses whether it’s illegal immigration or drugs. There is no room for sympathy or reason: either you win or lose.
- Republicans don’t like long complicated storylines. An interesting aspect of the listed dramas is that they are almost all episodic. There is no long complicated storyline that needs to be explored throughout the season; most of these show’s arcs are resolved in one hour. This is an example of how Republicans like things to be fixed immediately. There is no room for pragmatic thought. It is all about fixing the issue right there regardless of who it hurts. Republicans want to see simple solutions for complicated problems. This is most reflected in the GOP’s complaint that the initial health care bill was too long. The right length for them? 3 pages. Democrats gave them 2,409.
- Republicans enjoy the simpler things. While most of the dramas the New York Times listed earn very high ratings, they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, critically acclaimed. The shows lack quality story telling, character development, and intricate plot lines. They may be enjoyable, but they are not “good” television shows. This exemplifies the Right’s view of the Left as elitist. They see anything new, exciting and fresh as eccentric, intellectual hogwash.
Sure I am stereotyping. And, yes, I do know a few Republicans with good taste in television. But this study is very telling and there is something to be said for it when we see so clearly life imitating taste. Something to keep in mind as you go to the polls on Tuesday.
— On a side note, the report also finds that Democrats and Republicans bought equal advertising space for Glee. I guess this shows that both parties can have shitty taste.