Was reading the Washington Post this morning and found a story about Barack Obama kind of interesting. Despite mass media telling a town other wise, people still hold onto incorrect rumors spread via word of mouth.
On the television in his living room, Peterman has watched enough news and campaign advertisements to hear the truth: Sen. Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, is a Christian family man with a track record of public service. But on the Internet, in his grocery store, at his neighbor’s house, at his son’s auto shop, Peterman has also absorbed another version of the Democratic candidate’s background, one that is entirely false: Barack Obama, born in Africa, is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The article goes on to say:
Does he trust a local newspaper article that details Obama’s Christian faith? Or his friend Leroy Pollard, a devoted family man so convinced Obama is a radical Muslim that he threatened to stop talking to his daughter when he heard she might vote for him?
When things get out there into the open, whether they’re accurate or not, there is almost no stopping it. People talk. People believe what their friends say and will repeat it, regardless of the truth.
I think this shows that mass media isn’t what it used to be for starting a nation-wide personal dialogue with voters.
Politicians need to find a new way to get to know and form a relationship with the voters.
One thought on “Curious About the Power of Word of Mouth? Just Ask Barack Obama.”
I completely agree with your conclusion. I would be interested in what new ways politicians could form better relationships with voters? Maybe have more small town halls where individuals can really get to know the candidate? Not really sure.