First Political Ad Attacks?

I had PBS on the other night….watching an old British drama, when it finished and I  heard a teaser for THIS PROGRAM which made my ears perk up.

Here’s why….I heard:

“In 1934, famed writer and socialist Upton Sinclair swept the Democratic primary for governor of California, leading a mass End Poverty movement. To defeat him that fall, his opponents created one of the dirtiest, and most influential, campaigns in U.S. history, and Hollywood took its first all-out plunge into politics.”

What really got my attention was another  sentence in my link that says “The California campaign that gave birth to the political attack ad.”

Fast Facts: Election of 1828
  • Election between presidential candidates John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson was nasty and bitter and involved extreme accusations.
  • John Quincy Adams accused Andrew Jackson of murder while serving as a military officer.
  • Andrew Jackson accused John Quincy Adams of having been a pimp while serving as a diplomat in Russia.
  • Lurid accusations circulated by handbill and in partisan newspapers.
  • Jackson won the election of 1828, and his administration got off to a bitter beginning when Adams refused to attend his inauguration.

I think those 1828 points are pretty big political attack ads, don’t you?   I Googled several sites because I know that Lincoln was really slammed in political ads, but it’s hard to find them… And, oddly, most of the political attack ads Google lists are Republicans against Democrats (as was Adams v Jackson…)…(not oddly at all, of course, because it’s Google).

Am I wrong or haven’t political attack ads gone on for YEARS in our country?  And the point of the documentary is so obvious;  The Democrat, the “loving, kind” socialist, wanted to end mass poverty but the Republicans couldn’t have THAT? 🙂

Am I wrong or didn’t Lincoln and many others have terrible attack ads against them?   



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24 Responses to First Political Ad Attacks?

  1. Mustang says:

    You aren’t wrong. Perhaps even worse than Adams-Jackson were the media attacks levied against Washington engineered by Jefferson while serving as Washington’s Secretary of State. According to historians at Mount Vernon, beginning in 1792, a disgruntled Jefferson was a key figure behind the creation of America’s first opposition press, using Phillip Freneau (publisher of the National Gazette) and Benjamin Bache (publisher of Aurora) to attack Washington personally. Jefferson could not abide Hamilton’s membership in Washington’s inner circle and held Hamilton responsible for Washington’s insistent neutrality in the matter of growing tensions between France and Great Britain. But rather than resigning his office as a matter of principle, Jefferson stooped to attacking the President through third parties in a public forum. The issue of U.S. neutrality was a significant factor in the passage of the Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798 and why Washington spoke of detachment in his farewell address to the nation.

    You are also right about the discord between Quincy and Jackson — both of whom were thoroughly cranky and spiteful men. Jackson’s presidency remains a stain on the honor of the American Republic, while we remember John Q. Adams for his honorable and courageous opposition to slavery and his defense of the enslaved men of Amistad. You can read Adam’s argument before the U.S. Supreme Court at It is a bit wordy but interesting nonetheless.

    Lincoln too was reviled by those (Democrats) who despised him (although Lincoln had no love for people of color) and by those (Republicans) who felt that Lincoln stood in their way. Many in Lincoln’s own administration felt as though he was a foolish man easily manipulated, and it is certainly true that in the 1860s, the Republicans were despots of the worst order.

    Conclusion: the U.S. media have been gaslighting the American people for a very long time. Madison reminded us in The Federalist that if men were angels, no government would be necessary … and we should also conclude that since men are not angels, no institution created by men can be divine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. geeez2014 says:

    MUSTANG!: YOu said “we should also conclude that since men are not angels, no institution created by men can be divine.” But so many of you here seem to expect that. Nobody’s divine on this earth………..neither is any institution. But we try to do our best.
    I’m glad you agree….I’ve heard SUCH horrible political attacks were constant over the years, then to hear the very Leftwing PBS has documentary on admitted Socialist Upton Sinclair because “Ah, gee, he’s such a saint, this Democrat, that he was trying to lower the poverty amounts, but those awful Republicans in Hollywood got rid of him with their attacks which started us down this awful road…” (I’m paraphrasing but…it’s the gist of it)..really perked my ears up.

    Glad I was correct. THANK YOU for the good input you added. Even PBS is campaigning before the Midterms.


  3. geeez2014 says:




  4. Silverfiddle says:

    Political attacks are as old as humankind. I think when Madison. A propagandist for Jefferson called Madison a hemaphrodite.

    Going back even further, usually among the royal class or ruling elites, honor was everything, but being human beings, there was also much debauchery.

    Opponents would use that, with partisans and their press ignoring the dishonorable acts of “their guy” and exposing those of the opposition. They had no compunction about attacking ladies of royal families as well, often smearing them (or exposing) sexual activities outside the norms of morality and polite society.

    That’s the game today: The establishment press ignores the scandals of their heroes and goes after every conservative who dares pop his or her head up and speak.


  5. peter3nj says:

    Speaking of dirty politics the party championing abortion is critical of Herschel Walker for purportedly paying for an abortion.


  6. Silverfiddle says:

    Procuring an abortion is a very un-Christian act, as is adultery.


  7. peter3nj says:

    …not for democrats. It’s nearly become a rite of passage.


  8. Silverfiddle says:

    Most Democrats either reject Christian morality or distort Christianity to the point of it being a feel-good social club founded by a hippie philosopher.

    And I get your larger point. Warnock’s ex wife claimed he ran over her foot with his car, but the “believe all women” Democrats in the press, “fact checked” it as false and moved on.

    Meanwhile in Pennsylvania, leftwing Lurch gets a total pass on being extreme left and mooching off his parents, while Mehmet Oz gets the microscope treatment.

    Our only comfort is, people see it, and it ain’t workin’ like it used to. Walther Kronkite has left the building


  9. MAL says:

    Hmmmm. I’d like to say I remember those campaigns, Z I’m old, but not quite THAT old yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mustang says:

    That isn’t true, Z … Mal wrote John Quincy Adams Supreme Court argument.


  11. kidme37 says:

    To me, it is very simple. When a political party has no accomplishments to toot their horn over (democrats never have except when taking credit for other’s accomplishments) then they are left with only one option. Throw crap on the wall and see what sticks. Republicans today also have very few accomplishments to sing about, unless they take credit for Trump’s – God forbid, so they too have adopted the throw crap on the wall approach.

    Boring and disappointing to see so many people fall for such childish BS.

    Libs also assume all conservatives or republicans are disgusted by sexual hyjinks or other immoral activities so they focus on this aspect when attacking them. Also boring and childish.


  12. geeez2014 says:

    KID, I’ve been thinking that, too….Like Gavin New-Scum….he’s done NOTHING if I look at it……..but there are people who think Biden is doing a great job because kids are skipping school tuition and that awful big bill got passed, too…”freebies!”…. They just see things differently and I BELIEVE they’re unAmerican…ANY PRESIDENT WHO, WITH TWO BILLS, SPENDS SOMETHING LIKE 13 TRILLION DOLLARS IN TEN YEARS IS A SADISTIC HATE-AMERICA LOSER!!!

    Did you hear him have to mention CLIMATE CHANGE in his Florida trip? Are people REALLY THAT STUPID? When they KNOW there have been AS BAD hurricanes in the distant past? Yes, they are THAT driven by THEIR NARRATIVE…..F* them. Man, I used to not swear so much; I can’t help it anymore!!!

    MUSTANG! I’m SO SORRY, I forgot Mal was a friend of JQA!!

    SILVERFIDDLE: “That’s the game today: The establishment press ignores the scandals of their heroes and goes after every conservative who dares pop his or her head up and speak.’ Couldn’t be truer.

    SF…did you notice that SUDDENLY, Herschel’s son tweeted his father’s ignored him all these years and he’s a rotten guy (I paraphrase….I’ll be he and his mom got more for that then had Herschel paid 10x his child support$$$$)…As PETER commented, just in time, a young woman said the other day Herschel paid for her abortion!! What a timing coincidence? (Smile)
    by the way WHO CARES? Who’d be a BETTER SENATOR??
    Warnock is trash.

    PETER…”Speaking of dirty politics the party championing abortion is critical of Herschel Walker for purportedly paying for an abortion.”
    Oh MY GOD….great thinking, Peter….absolutely TRUE! Such hypocrites!



  13. MAL says:

    Z, you and “Tang must’ve seen my REAL age! Darn. I was hopin’ I could get by for a bit longer with my “cover”.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. kidme37 says:

    Did I hear…. ? No I don’t listen since they have nothing new or of value to say. If idiots want to believe in climate stuff or anything else I really don’t care at all. Better things to put my energy into frankly.


  15. geeez2014 says:

    MAL….Oh, well!!

    KID…..I care too much. Thankfully, i do have other things I care about which takes my energy too!


  16. geeez2014 says:

    I hate this man, God forgive me. Yes! let’s HONOR pot smokers! No PROBLEM! Sure, we’ve got the biggest population of kids who need to get high….but we shouldn’t try to figure out why that is, let’s just make their tools legal so our whole lost generation can get high, okay? Duuude?
    Ya, and Fetterman wants to make heroin shoot-ups clean so we can encourage heroin addiction, too?

    I’m not big on arresting people for having some pot at their house….but they’re telling us NYC stinks of pot all the time…people just strolling around getting high. And please don’t tell me it’s the same thing as walking around sipping martinis…..Drugs are different.

    SO, Biden gets the Minority vote because, to him, pot offenses are racist, too……..apparently, he honestly believes more Blacks are druggies….isn’t that a racist opinion, even if it was true?

    I hate him. God help me, I DESPISE him………..for SO MUCH.

    And this, from a gal who’s in a VERY good mood :-)!!!


  17. Baysider says:

    Interesting, PBS’ take on it. They’re full of it. Taft and TR exchanged Puzzlewit and something like Fugglewumper. Just read about Jefferson’s ploy against Washington a few months ago- plus everything Mustang said.


  18. kidme37 says:

    “Care too much”.

    – Been there done that.


  19. geeez2014 says:

    KID. I hope I never do stop. I just wish I could do something to slow the hideous liberal creep……… I watch THE FIVE and Harold Ford Jr was on today… I think he’s probably a wonderful guy. But, try as I might, I lost ALL respect for him finally today; If he says “Not all Democrats (support Defund Police…or student tuition forgiveness…or no bail….or killing our energy independence, etc etc.) ” again….my GOD! I want to scream “Harold, NOT ALL DEMOCRATS might support those damnable things but you all vote FOR THOSE WHO DO, you MORON, so STOP IT! YOu can’t BE a Democrat and realize what’s going on, or LOVE this country~! You simply can’t!!”
    I can barely look at him.



  20. MAL says:

    You said it, Z. You can’t be a Dem and love our country. Period.
    SO true!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. geeez2014 says:

    A Big part of why I published this was it’s PUBLIC TELEVISION…and it’s SO typical to run stories like this………As I copied into the post “In 1934, famed writer and socialist Upton Sinclair swept the Democratic primary for governor of California, leading a mass End Poverty movement. To defeat him that fall, his opponents created one of the dirtiest, and most influential, campaigns in U.S. history, and Hollywood took its first all-out plunge into politics.”

    SO, viewers are to think: “Ah, GEE….that WONDERFUL, typical Democrat, that loving socialist, wanted to END POVERTY but the Republicans just couldn’t let that happen!”

    You’d laugh if it wasn’t so scary that people BUY this stuff.

    LOOK at the links and comments above about how POLITICAL HIT ADS HAVE GONE ON FOREVER!!! Both sides, I’m not saying ‘Only Democrats do that!” Clearly not! But…………..what a joke our media is and our public television………complete loss of integrity. If they ever had it.


  22. kidme37 says:

    Intelligent people don’t need me to care about them and the stupid people can all go to hell. Not angry, simple fact.


  23. geeez2014 says:

    KID, I just love this country a lot…maybe too much, that’s all! Hard for me to let go entirely…to not care, not listen, etc. For me, while it’s no panacea, it helps to hear like-minded people talking.
    But, trust me, I get it….I DO understand how you feel because I have MANY moments where I feel hopeless.


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