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nice nice why not candidates for governor and attorney general are saying isn't running some dishes commercials criticizing their opponents in seconds to strongly supported the national teachers union unfortunately hundred fictional features i think people have
the second guidance resorted to a vicious negative campaign outbreak is false attacks that the people of alabama won't stand for andy young has devoted his life to his leadership built a consensus i really am against being condescending the people and yet as far back as i remember its people in front of privately reasonable walls it all says that even when you have good god you've got a five years ago in panama i am uncomfortable in the tactical squad and counterattack attacks across thirty seconds longer constrained by
after work as beans beans the perception is right and if they said they were just the names of things because they chose to cover the time is just not as great in many instances he needs that human
what's worse and that's always about some veterans campaigns and sometimes it doesn't work in many many fields listen to that the peak freak ah in every political season writes the new york times a harsh media consultant emerges in the fall of nineteen eighty nine a new hot gun is frank greer where's own story in the article notes has the makings of a good sixty second spot a boy is born in tuscaloosa alabama the son to school teachers the grandson of your properties he grows up in the segregated
south was just george was a stand in the schoolhouse door knows there must be a better way to meet you do you find that this was nineteen sixty and i was in all of them are pleasant than that supported john kennedy and we stayed up all my day job i'm so glad you found the small and us not unlike most is an oversimplification like some it is also essentially true grit is passion for politics was born in tuscaloosa to ignited by the fire of the new frontier
of fueled my experience as a page for john sparkman and as an acquaintance of lyndon johnson but ultimately tapping the vast reservoir of traditional democratic loyalty which lay beneath the southern so are the legacy of a descendant of the new year but today plenty of evidence remains a friend grier's oregon's his oft quoted heroes are democrats and populists jefferson roosevelt big jim folsom he professes a strong belief in traditional values that has a weakness for southern baptist hymns and religious metaphors he still loves hunting and fishing in barbecue he refers to himself as a good ol boy and so he may still have one foot
in a slow moving senate passed but nowadays frank greer runs in the fast lane where i wasn't in a lot of parts of our parliament which was there was thought that our ears of security that his legs are quite his office may have a folksy southern flavor but it also supports a prestigious georgetown zip code and pennsylvania avenue address and comes complete with a power view of the watergate hotel lining the walls memorabilia and photographs of campaigns past some with notes of appreciation from the candidates prominent among them is that it doug wilder of virginia the country's first black governor since welders election the phone hasn't stopped ringing title since nineteen eighty three frank has built greer margolis mitchell from a staff of two to its current
thirty five now they're a firm with a budget of over twenty million dollars their clients and causes have been many but most have shared a similar ideological point of view ah life issues and basically we try to work for progressive candidates and we tried to do that in environments that have been very difficult all and an often so in nineteen ninety the newhart gotten took aim at eleven major races in the house of representatives victories in wisconsin michigan and connecticut in
the senate a win in montana a loss in kentucky in california a new state treasurer in governors' races the firm lost arizona but brought on victories for bill clinton in arkansas and lawton chiles in florida and in the deep south took on campaigns for paul hubbard in alabama and andrew young in georgia what follows are impressions of those two campaigns this is forty for many many months now we have been bombarded with campaign promises speeches and lots of advertisement and the candidates who want to be our next governor will just fourteen hours left until the polls across the state opened a lot of people still haven't decided which candidates are boarded the world probably what's really has been a dramatic time with a number of the candidates as they made their final whistle stop tour across the state five democratic candidate speech urging alabama voters to turn
out the crime writers can use congress' hand shakes and the speeches he just tried to get out the reasons he thinks would make it the best governor first day a strong factor in that decision will just be how the candidates stand on issues that concern the candidates stand on education will determine what lever of a pool tomorrow followed by the war on drugs and eighteen percent economy and jobs at eight percent with tax reform and the environment tied at five percent but we got to start here with an all out effort to improve education for that dropouts and stop drug addicts we need leadership of course out of state operations to use these resources here create jobs for our people and they're taking our resources and jobs and dumping their wives threatening our water our health and i'm curious did we need to do well i intended to run a campaign that was what i call progressive campaign i intend to talk about fundamental issues that need to be talked about not interested in running negative campaign as you're
moving alabama so those were the kansas things about looking for somebody that that i felt that i would have to argue with over every spot that we produced the most important thing for a consultant to do is to listen and learn and have greater respect for the ged because the worst thing in the world not just for the campaign but also for the political process or worst thing in the world as for a consultant on a poster to come in and say here's what you believed for years which is should we proudly next japanese liberals i do research in focus we doing but what you're really trying to do is find out what host and we are so you can figure out what the exercises was not given limited resources they going on so many messages talk about solving issues those are issues that all thought were important issues all know it we test them to see if they get an appeal you better believe it and they get i think that
those thoughts are we're very important in the primary and then did they do to help with the name recognition the other thing after number is that spots are not their only to persuade people to convince people to vote for you but they're also they're in order to keep people who are convinced all ready to vote for you and then still stay with you and get out the vote dr gary copeland is an associate professor of telecommunication at the university of alabama he and author karen carty of the advertising and public relations department i've written a forthcoming book on negative political advertising and major political consultants another campaign was successful in the primary because it was the best ad campaign in the primary race and it was the best organization in the primary race the police pollard and don siegelman are they run off by in three weeks over with two and twenty nine thousand
signal a one hundred seventy nine thousand i'm joining us now live from the gallery is the one who is the cliff rock primarily democratic gubernatorial race that day that the fall whether he had lived as the primary about fifty thousand so it's just a matter of not losing we felt that we would win the runoff due to negative advertising we countered that counter punching well i mean sampson and this is for the record with just four days until the runoff candidates for governor and attorney general are slinging mud and throwing punches and running some pretty vicious commercials criticizing their opponents why paul roberts did your organization and incompetent teachers and seek to reinstate a teacher convicted of sexual crimes against children it's now clear that a desperate don siegelman will say and do anything to mislead the voters he's running a vicious negative ad campaign making hypocritical charges and he's not telling the truth hardly a consultant frank greer blasted don siegelman for his negative approach to campaigning we're said this is the sleazy instead campaign he's seen and he accused the attorney general of
selling his sold out of state media consultant who he says have to convince england to run thirty ads i've known don siegelman since we want more state and i believe this campaign is beneath him and is probably no one notices the fine print to respond the fact that matters i believe that if you need to stand out tell the true fight back set the record straight and then make a point if you can about why they're doing and why is it necessary for him to sign for those counting can pay off if you can do those three or four thank you to set the record straight tell the truth by that correct the impression his lap and they raise a question about why he's doing you can counteract that on as a matter fact you can i think of guns if you do it skillfully you can basically make a lot of his face as it rolls back out the door and back into his campaign headquarters and that's what you really want
there's a sound stage with mr coleman is not telling the truth but obama voters alone will have to show a little bit of fire and brimstone occasions just to assure voters that it's there we have a history of confrontational politics and stack we assume that our politics would be a battle and their candidates will get out there and scrape with the best of them and we don't see that we think there's something wrong don siegelman is resorting to the politics of the past actually about seventy percent population side of his life in an advertising banner you'll find that twenty five percent in alabama yes it may significantly lower sound so nancy and make up the glamour type thing is more important in this stacked there was another state of the kurds are talking of all worlds or are presenting a series of political analyst at st police don siegelman had no choice but to take the off
dancing the final days of this campaign don siegelman troops in a big way in the primary and family had wanted her to make up that difference he did say very positive campaign to you or ten years is that also just a matter of who's in it elijah i carry in my experience if you can and as a matter of it's determined by whether you are here but if you can hold off not be the first to cast the first one to cast the first vote all our safety candidates look if we can avoid it would not in the cast of her skill but when they do get hit with an avalanche luckily the democratic runoff is just a day away and a new poll released today shows paul however readings on feelin by about ten percent fifty one percent say they'd vote for paul hubbard weren't one percent for dawn spiegelman
eight percent say they're undecided well done for you and have a chance if way that a percent to nine during their debate an alabama public television tonight will be the second time that you were up against each other he was very common these days why was joe to pass thirty years ago so why now so be it as well his
whole point was it was an ego that's where they are now and then which you say were not then we will perhaps political spouse of an immediate sense of a solemn that
you know i did if we could put you punch up number two and what we used to be heard a second when we look at it on in the control room on a monitor reporter gloria hillard
thank you i mean what that was it tonight alabama public television's election coverage continues with a special edition of for the record the democratic runoff debates the race for governor why would you provide strong leadership felt that in the next four preps and eighty years the year poll afraid i think alabama has been poised now to michael and leap ahead into the future and join the news i'm lonely now the
nineteen nineties and to attack that problem with a determination to get that problem salt is disabling intimidates the response before and i think that thank you mr sigman you've said that you strongly object to aa as defense of the huntsville teacher convicted of sodomy and god in juvenile male that incident before the huntsville school war occurred in nineteen eighty five
he said he's less apologetic why didn't you make it your business to know about a group his lyrics that money from this is that this is a policy of the iaea to defend teachers' at any cost smart joe reed and paul harvard or the heads of two of the most powerful special interest groups among them like what that little the hand picking a nineteen eighty three as history perhaps it should have been done that way i have not been a member of that democratic executive committee ever i've never served on it whatever influence it had on it has simply been because i've chosen to be involved as an
individual citizen this is the answer to everything about it i am proposing remarks from the candidates to a gentleman have one a half minutes we're closing remarks dr hubbard you go first multiple obama together i think that's the kind of leadership that our state deserves and needs this is the point
go to the polls and vote us make this an opportunity for alabama an opportunity to make the state the very best way to convey as bell thank you now should that detract from the essence of the candidate unfortunately i still think that or to canada fortunately i hope that what we do is provide them with marshall fields and techniques allow some people he was otherwise you never surrendered to the other side of the unilateral disarmament it i think that's for which answer we would serve the best interest the country are so i think you know to compete if you got
to warn you go try to win political office you need to have the tools and the technicians and the expertise of the people like myself really our teacher teaches rosen thanks for joining us all across alabama all officials to report very light turnout in today's world watching it is but immigration
has been every week it was you know the kids are you know how much we appreciate you ok we're going to go and quietly you all this i was furious comments
on this week i never said that was a week tracking and we're on the way up thanks for coptic christian college buddy thank you i think we're going to go about it a lot in the un's headquarters one last time the top contenders for governor
took to the soapbox here in savannah at young sailor and rory barnes made brief appearances at the airport in the final stop last a burial one storm across the state it's unclear as i still believe that politics which i think is really important particularly
for the family of canada's liberal and conservative state and they live in a white state are almost anything that is different about you requires partial comeback i think in addition to media andy young is a magnificent one on one campaign there are a few candidates who know how to work a crowd better than the young and the un strategy during the primaries was to get to his many areas of south georgia as he could possibly cover education week your reason we don't have more jobs and better jobs in south georgia is that the leadership has been claims solved george ritchie and that's what we're going to spend fifty five percent of the state budget
on education we think you want find hard to help me do was to address the questions of the election that it did and our say an extra prayer for all of those hard hearts but don't believe it makes a difference and all those people are no longer best man would realize that would make a change in their ways of doing things in their traditions to vote for the best land forever them too our basic strategy in both the primary and ronald woes to get out our core vote which will lose large with a black communities that was and also ending i asked a new constituency of that could give you the margin of victory we decided that that was probably going to be women
so it's really neat but i think that we're probably was frustrated as many people were about how difficult it was to get and the young to do anything but what npr wanted to do one of the great strengths and great weaknesses of npr i might oppose it but you would have the right to vote for any money generated by lottery we would apply to our vocational in technical school system people were upset about water and that turned out to be the hot button there's no way around the banner on the notion that a state lotteries when solomon wrote his problems i was trying to find real answer
and i was being rational and yet as far back as the people who've been trying to trying to be reasonable and lost it all says that even when you're a good guy you've got a very very low and i'm uncomfortable i've made a career of being in a telling more latrines and i mean i find in politics that you're better off if you are which really no one comes through his national convention for or against the thing with your integrity the patients because
you're welcome it is and at the political landscape it wasn't supposed to and richard nixon and played that right now what's inside
that's about a path or in the visitor much for going to those listening we'd be there you know would do a rerun one winter's day on the same day the company's owners
to play get a good night's sleep because i still have to start at seven in the morning are thanking the voters and trying to help us raise enough money for these next three weeks so i and a candidate andrew young is on a blitz through savannah trying to like wounds inflicted by some in the black community around the state and especially in atlanta some maintain that is taken for granted like whoa focusing his campaigning on the white community young dismissed the charges and that and there's this concern young says in the next couple of weeks he will continue campaigning in all portions of the state and will not change the amount of political barnstorming in the white communities whatever bigotry exists out there are young in one on one appearance is with otherwise conservative whites
is usually able to overcome their anxieties so during the primary campaign the un strategy was to shake everyone has been so georgia she was less when because the one who can change everyone knows to you can't walk into a voting booth with these people you can't be up there behind their left ear or it rather whispering remember remember you know it's not bad that i'm black you can vote for the best candidate supporters to set up a seventh and this is morning edition from atlanta mayor andrew young in a do or die test today in his bid to become the first black governor of georgia but some key information sector of state's office afternoon that his race and we'll hear the young workers here is that voter turnout in the rural areas of georgia is low turnout in the urban areas of georgia cities is
i particularly in black precincts this is the formula right so what was that neil don't get the ad ran the campaign that people are served as inter korean rhetoric has away and
and who live final of a literary myself a speech here i feel like this is the way to exit gracefully tried offer some encouragement to sell off and say he ran a good race i admired and i'm not through with a strong democracy is not our sponsor says not even america is not a rational cup campaign between who's the best bob moses martyrs who work so hard it really is the one you most identify with the one you feel most comfortable with i think to find a good job and my roosevelt when people too comfortable lately and georgia i think my opponent heather comfort level of those high have the money or i don't think that it's in
their advantage they are not say it at the piano dc those patients what will now says that says that this is the most of the concern that white votes are almost all he is it's been the
paintings and everything we do everything we are in any other state of surviving racial insensitivity and so forth it really is the pay to play the ponies
be tao it's gone and never lose a political thing and i got so much out of the joy of running yeah it's buttons it is obvious
but where i was pointing hours a day and area and what we have to do is work to get to a certain point in your immediate folks pretty much do their thing out here on the side understand this is a welfare reforms i would look at the ocean i didn't like me ride to school but the bottom line was so much charm the idea and one the wind we need new leadership in the governor's office to solve this problem i intend to break the welfare shock governor bill clinton is doing in arkansas
it's been nice but here's what paul told he said that you can lock em sen and i'd like to try i say this over again you worked hard all your life and that that you knew your wife had to go into a nursing home and you've lost just everything all your savings and we want to say and we need help yo ma lives in her so we need help one candidate paul hubbard cares about the old folks dr lee well we're our own words while i have you on the wrong original in a while know that there were firing of god we only about verifying we got in all covered in atlanta all over the atlantic for all all for
anita hill that's great let's go right back into one more time so let's say that were it ok okay but i want to go back like you can do and tell the story like you're really thinking about it called i just thought i would be a liar i work hard all my life i came inside wore i thought it was priscilla owens when i look at this and i just burst out crying and he was a target of mourning but i just was overwhelmed and sixties shave if you go oh i've had to go an american whole usual out that one candidate and curator for the overflow a narrative paul hubbard and i'm very much honored for sure it is those are our
senior citizens you happen to do nothing is more important than providing quality health care for our seniors and quality are arguing is you know that's exactly what the one we chose your last one is a winner washington monday october first frank greer shuttles between audio production studios and editing rooms as he and producer chris gifford they spend eight hours assembling the senior citizen ad they call heartbreak and three others whether hubbard campaign freeze on his back also works but there is at the end of the day back at the office for a call from alabama opponent governor guy hunt has begun broadcasting his first
negative commercials one asserts that hubbard opposes qualifying tests for teachers and portrays him as a representative of special interest groups the strategy calls for a quick response and a counterattack i want protection for one such ad will have to be done the next day is you were a trauma response to hans atom want to accept two geoff garin and to mike morton and to tough as well and now basically they had about an hour twenty minutes to get back to our first grab that begins guidance launch a vicious negative campaign rate is false attacks that the people in alabama won't stand for the
fact is paul hundreds of course the true test and he's dedicated to improving our schools resort analyst would go away but for corals politicians like once the ones received millions from oil companies and utilities and big insurance companies even refused to reveal his tax returns is violence just not lower than we got in his last phrase to brooklyn he's even refused to reveal his tax returns but it is just not perfect but they're going to be surprised and shocked and i think that neither strategic parents can change the whole dynamic of the campaign whether or not the hunt campaign were shocked the
change in the campaign became a dramatically are almost entirely positive until october first to a contest begin at that point a media war of airborne attacks and responses alan grier's response ads targeted the state's economic conditions and its refusal to engage in a public debate by and the governor's alleged use of campaign funds for prisoners that's just by many accounts there remain some restrain on i'm believing remain a fundamental strategic error in the harbor campaign i believe that he made the mistake of thinking that he could not attack on a hunt you were running against a strong perception positive perception guy and he ran the risk of being to stroll into negative of having it backfire and driving driving down friday that turn out and raising his negatives beyond a point which could be elected to have to walk a thin line and i think we tried to do that robert bunning
covered by such concerns in the republican attacks escalated climax in with an aggressive and controversy or florida one spot centered on hubbard's connections to his black associate jewelry but it also implied a candidate support for jesse jackson cohen a special link to the black community that didn't work out and in the final week of the campaign the most controversy or oval for twenty years mr herbert has strongly supported the national teachers union this union endorsers letting homosexual teachers stay in the question fine career when he saw pictures this thing is so far on the water will pay attention to it testifying this thing is so on top own party that we'd better prepare a response i've stood by for several weeks and was the false character assassination of a member of the church i serve so mr bridges become on the responder that we simply let people know that we were able to manage he's talking to
but that kind of emotion lotion has a tremendous impact when done correctly i think i was the victim of why kasich politics once again i returned there were hundred was leading in the polls until last week before the election and hummus actual spot a year and hundreds people started seeing a remarkable drop each nine palms on the tracking polls that they take each night until the election they knew they were in trouble by the weekend because i had lost their lead and they were falling again off again with a look at the limit or raise as it now stands with fifty five percent of precincts and we see that in time three hundred a few thousand votes of parliament three hundred fifty six thousand votes we can tell you that cnn nbc cbs and as far as we know at sea anemone had to declare god it all right now we're running about forty nine percent that's not quite good enough as far as the numbers are concerned they're like well i'm not going to hire more people voted to waive a row
but the fact of the writers i did not give them enough reason to leave the hole and that's my thought there were just a missed opportunities because they chose to go for the high road that they that they decided upon a strategy they execute the strategy way oh i just think the strategy was not in winning strategy we had to absolutely heartbreaking losses are one especially because it was home because i think so highly of the individual of our thought was a heart breaker beyond anything i've been through and i was here in alabama ohio was on behalf of paul hubbard there isn't a great deal over own moral indignation about anything in politics people say native advertising is despicable
but it works the majority of people get their political information about the candidates and out there and she's not from television news but from television advertising in fact television political ads have more issue components band saying the network news stories found that is a significant finding the sad fact is that we have taken complicated issues and pay a complicated process of selecting leadership in america and we've invested than thirty seconds and it's very hard to communicate anything in three seconds and it's also very hard to be fair about communication now that there's no question that the more you consume what were the message our into one liners and the thirty second sound bites and repeated over and over again and the more likely you are to get the majority electoral i guess what i'm saying is you have an emotional event
without having polarization and without having negative ads if they're very carefully and you have to do that's the nature of politics but a good healthy debate on things that are legitimate honest know him and straightforward i think very delicate very good that's not all in the square instead of aligning you you appeal to people's worst instincts of their fears or you don't tell the truth or you know you take an issue that's really not important it's trivial if you have a press that examines claims and then publishers whether or not these claims are true that is one of the ways in which you'll see these kind of kind of ostentatious stop it sounds good it sounds like something meaningful to say hey guys it was more about what these candidates are all about tell us where they stand on the issues but the formats that allow for that different that ratings is not that the thirty second spot may does that way
we are that way in the thirty second spot talks to those the way we would we talk to i mean that's the way we are wish it would go from i wish we could find a way to challenge voters a wish we can make politics interesting enough i wish there was a time when there were war along eloquent speeches like the lincoln douglas debates were when you have people goods because nobody comes out the less until you know maybe i'll will come along now the times of change that somebody would come along with a new idea but rochat says the only way to communicate with large numbers of people millions of people off and and that's what we're stuck with audie i think it's up to candidates to try to change the nature of the candidates and consultants of people working to change the nature on how we do campaigns by raising questions about the other side's tactics by trying to
Confessions of a Media Consultant: Frank Greer
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R) (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)
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Episode Description
Follows along with Frank Greer's work as a media consultant on Andy Young's campaign for governor in Georgia and Paul Hubbert's campaign for governor in Alabama. Piece focuses on Greer's early life, both campaign's and their results, what it is like running as a liberal candidate in conservative states, the candidates campaign platforms, Greer's relationship with the candidates, and more.
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Editor: Clay, Kevin
Producing Organization: University of Alabama Center for Public Television
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Chicago: “Confessions of a Media Consultant: Frank Greer,” 1991-02-21, University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 25, 2022,
MLA: “Confessions of a Media Consultant: Frank Greer.” 1991-02-21. University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 25, 2022. <>.
APA: Confessions of a Media Consultant: Frank Greer. Boston, MA: University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio (CPT&R), American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from