Roger L. Simon

Ranking the Ads: Larry Rohter vs. Frank Luntz

Another indication that the New York Times is more biased (yikes!) than Fox News […but that’s impossible.-ed.  Anything is possible, my son.] is how the two outlets evaluate the political ads assaulting the airwaves these days.  The Times assigns Larry Rohter essentially to review them.  So what we are given is simply one man’s opinion. Today, good Timesman that he is, he doesn’t much like McCain’s new energy ad.  Rohter concludes: But voters under 50 may not recall John F. Kennedy’s promise to put a man on the moon in less than a decade, and the musical accompaniment, a mix of electronica, percussion and swelling strings, seems more somber than uplifting.

Well, okay, Larry, if you say so.  I haven’t seen the ad myself, so have no opinion. But I have to ask: why should I care abou Rohter’s?  This isn’t a movie or a play.  Or an art opening. The only operative question here is not whether some journalist likes the ad, but whether it works with voters.  Over at the supposedly hugely biased Fox, Frank Luntz  understands this and performs  one of the most interesting services on television.  He takes ads like this and simply puts them before focus groups of voters. (He also has them rate the debates.) The results are far more interesting and provide riveting political television, some of the best out there.