Here’s How The Media Portrayed David Vitter’s Attack Ad Versus How They’re Portraying John Bel Edwards’ Attack Ad

There have been two attack ads that have garnered backlash during the Louisiana gubernatorial run-off election, one from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and one from State Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite).

The major difference between them, however, is how they have been scrutinized and portrayed by the media.

Vitter’s ad involved the word “thug,” which ticked off the NAACP because apparently portraying criminals as “thugs” is downright offensive.

These were a few of the media’s headlines on the attack ad:

  • “Dem Guv Candidate Hits Back At David Vitter’s ‘Thugs’ Ad (VIDEO)” -Talking Points Memo
  • “Sheriffs stand with Edwards, dismiss Vitter ‘thug’ ad as ‘silly'” -WWL-TV
  • “David Vitter ad stokes fears of ‘dangerous thugs’ coming to your neighborhoods” -Daily Kos
  • “David Vitter ad accuses Edwards of wanting ‘thugs’ out of prison” -Politico

Notice all of the headlines somehow portray Vitter’s ad as offensive, silly or simply just claims and not based in facts whatsoever. And it paints the picture that ‘Look, everyone’s upset about Vitter’s attack ad!’

For Edwards’ ad, which drags Vitter’s decade-old prostitution scandal into the mix when discussing veterans, the media portrayal is much different.

The headlines for Edwards’ attack ad, which was called the “most vicious attack ad ever” on NBC, are much softer on Edwards and harsher on Vitter. Take a look:

  • “John Bel Edwards Defends His Latest Attack Ad Against David Vitter” -News Radio 710 Keel
  • ” Attack ad accuses GOP candidate of choosing ‘prostitutes over patriots'” -Yahoo News
  • “John Bel Edwards’ New Ad Attacking David Vitter Is Not Subtle” -Huffington Post
  • “The mother of all attack ads just landed in the Louisiana governor’s race” -Business Insider

Vitter is mostly the subject for both of the attack ads’ headlines.

This is the kind of portrayal which excludes the viciousness of Edwards’ attack ad on Vitter and instead, puts the focus on Vitter and his track record.

While in Vitter’s attack ad headlines, Vitter’s viciousness is pointed out through the use of the word “thug.”

In Vitter’s attack ad, he was mostly the subject of the headlines and is accused of fear mongering. But, in the headlines discussing Edwards’ attack ad, there is never a mention of fear mongering or even any headlines about what the LAGOP had to say about the ad.

But, which ad is truly more vicious? The overwhelming response so far has been Edwards’ ad, and yet it is being wildly portrayed by the media as just another attack ad.



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