October 28, 1986 |
With television screens filled with advertisements for candidates in the Nov. 4 election, let's have a few positive words about negative political commercials. True, defending them is like trying to put in a good word for a toxic dump. The 30-second commercials so popular this year exaggerate, oversimplify and unfairly state candidates' records. They are totally joyless, without the spontaneity, tension and fun of the rallies and speeches of older politics. And they are mean. But in a nation whose politics were launched by heavy-handed frontiersmen and New England pamphleteers with quills sharp as stilettos, today's commercials are part of a long tradition of rough political confrontation.
May 7, 1997 |
Sid F. Gitterman, 83, founder of Crown Boiler Co. in Kensington, died Sunday of heart failure and complications from Alzheimer's disease at his home in Aventura, Fla. He also had homes in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Mr. Gitterman's company built boilers for hot-water and steam-heating systems. He retired from the daily operation of the company about 1972, but he continued to own the plant until his death. Though a successful businessman, Mr. Gitterman's heart was in show business.
April 23, 1989 |
They've started to carry commercials on Soviet television. Things may be going too fast for me. When the Soviet government, officially atheistic, started returning churches to their congregations, I managed to mutter something like "Well, nothing surprises me anymore. " When the Poles announced that part of their parliament was going to be chosen by free elections, I told myself that everything changes sooner or later. I was even able to absorb the news that the Chinese were setting up a stock exchange.
February 8, 2013
IN TELEVISION, you get what you pay for, sooner or later. And in the case of Dish's Autohop technology - which allows DVR users to skip commercials while playing back programs from the four major networks - the price might be higher than advertised. Because those commercials we all love to hate? They pay for the "free" programming we don't want interrupted. Yes, yes, I know. "There's nothing good on network TV, anyway. " "I only watch cable. " "My dog ate my remote. " Great.
August 7, 2010
THE SHOWS on television are asinine. So are the commercials. There, I've said it. I feel better about myself now. Unfortunately, that doesn't change the fact that stupidity rules the airwaves. Most television fare is so repetitive, so sex-driven, so lowbrow, that you can close your eyes and narrate the show even before it comes on. There will be booties, there will be breasts, and the breast and booty-bearers will eventually pick a fight over something that a 5-year-old could successfully mediate.
October 29, 1986 |
We may want our TV sets, stereos, VCRs and even cars stamped "Made in Japan," but at least the commercials for all these products still have to be produced right here in the good old USA. Perhaps the destiny of the American economy is to make only the commercials, never the goods. The most talked-about commercial of the moment is for the Japanese auto firm Isuzu. It's a series of ads lumped under the title "The Liar," and it features a salesman for the company in various guises (as a race driver, on a tall rock)
October 31, 1996 |
Charley Steiner has covered sports most of his adult life, the last eight years for ESPN. That much time spent in front of a camera should be enough to lend credibility and fame to almost any sportscaster. But over the last year, Steiner has enjoyed a level of popularity even he finds surprising. It has nothing to do with what he knows about sports, although that helps. It has more to do with doughnut crumbs, punching out college football mascots and being traded from "SportsCenter" to "Melrose Place.
June 3, 1988 |
The Casey administration is spending $400,000 to air a television commercial that features Gov. Casey praising the benefits the state lottery confers on older citizens. David Stone, Casey's deputy chief of staff for communications, said yesterday that there also were plans to spend about $700,000 later this year for commercials that feature Casey promoting the work ethic of Pennsylvania's labor force. Stone said the governor appeared in the lottery commercial to remind Pennsylvanians that the lottery pays for important transportation, rent-rebate and drug-prescription programs for the elderly.
March 8, 1988 |
Republican Senate candidate Pete Dawkins took to the television airwaves for the first time yesterday, launching a two-week advertising blitz of the Philadelphia and New York markets in his bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg. The commercials, which the Dawkins campaign said would cost at least $570,000, are airing eight months before the November election and are intended to introduce the former college football hero, retired Army general and investment banker to New Jersey voters.
June 19, 1990 |
Bartholomew J. Simpson, this year's favorite sociopath, is disrupting things again. This time, two TV networks are refusing to air Burger King commercials featuring the Simpson family. Representatives from NBC and ABC say it is the networks' policies "not to accept commercials featuring characters from competitive programs while they are in character" or commericals that make a blatant mention of a competing show. CBS and Fox will run the ads. "We just don't run commercials with characters from competing shows," says David Horowitz, a spokesman for ABC, who adds that the "policy is currently under review.