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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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July 30, 2008 10:41 AM

Rossi's subtle editing

Posted by David Postman

I posted yesterday about Dino Rossi's first TV ad of the campaign. But it turns out there are two versions of the spot. You can watch the one I posted about here:

Then watch this version here.

Can you spot the differences? And can you figure out why there are two versions?

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Posted by Particle Man

10:54 AM, Jul 30, 2008

The Bus is for king county so Dino can "look like" he supports transit in an area where it has strong support. You know, so "Seattle does not steal this election".

Posted by JG

11:32 AM, Jul 30, 2008

I posted this below, but it fits here too.

Dino's next ad, on the radio:

Ominous music plays in the background. A male voice opens. "When you think the name Christine Gregoire, what name comes to mind? Christine Gregoire recklessly overspent and created massive budget shortfalls. Just like George Bush. She gave her well-connected friends special breaks while stiffing the little guy. Just like George Bush. And now she says everything is hunky-dory, even though we need change. Just like George Bush."

Posted by JimD

11:54 AM, Jul 30, 2008

All I noticed is the addition of a bus (on a viaduct-like elevated roadway btw) when he mentions transportation.
I assume the version WITHOUT the bus was cut for rural markets like eastern Washington where the suggestion of investing in western Washington transit wouldn't go over well.
Just another example of Rossi's duplicitous agenda.

Posted by D

12:12 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Not just a bus. The "bus" video shows the Evergreen Point floating bridge when he mentions trasportation. The other ad just shows backed up traffic that is more generic and less regionally-specific (although it appears to be on 520 just east of the bridge).

Posted by Bryan

12:19 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Also, the backgrounds on the first feature a city skyline prominently while the second features a generic set of hills and windmills.

Posted by Jim Guthrie

12:32 PM, Jul 30, 2008

What?! Tailoring a message to resonate with particular set of voters?! The horrror!!!

Posted by P

12:39 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Postman, how much are you being paid to shill for the governor? If you're not, then you're a fool! She has stolen so much money, in the form of campaign contributions from the indians, she should as the very least let her lackies get a taste!

Shame on you!

Posted by JimD

12:50 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Both adds have a graphic of a windmill when he says " improved climate for small business to get and keep jobs here..."

This is a very slick ad.
In addition to the obvious blending of affirmative images (the ethnic-neutral mother huging her child as she leaves for school), it's also full of subtle messages and associations that effectively create a sum much larger than what's actually being said - like making sure a windmill catches your attention as he says "climate".
The graphic has nothing to do with the business climate he's referring to, but it plants a subliminally positive association with energy and the environment.

The ad leaves you liking the product without saying one dam thing about it.
Excellent work.

Posted by Postman

1:26 PM, Jul 30, 2008

P, what the heck are you talking about? Is there something in this post that you think is doing the bidding of the governor? If so, please explain. If not and you're just looking for an excuse to complain about me, please go right ahead.

All, also note the skyline graphic is different in the two ads. Yes, the second one is airing in Eastern Washington. As I said in the headline, pretty subtle, but interesting.

Posted by Buck

1:47 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Remember the talk long ago about subliminal and supposedly sexy images airbrushed into the ice cubes in liquor magazine adds? Anyone buy booze due to ice cube arousal? Anyone going to vote Rossi because of an image of windmill (btw it's an antique windmill that has nothing to do with green energy)?

Posted by Particle Man

2:56 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Buck, a windmill for use of extracting water is green. Rossi sucks though.

Posted by Bothsides

4:24 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Interesting?? Postman, I'm glad your a journalist, because you wouldn't make it in advertising.

Geez, talk about a show about nothing, who cares, the fact that they are targeting the demographics, why, what a novel concept. I don't see you picking apart CG's ads! This is really pretty blatant media bias in my opinion.

Posted by John

4:25 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Either your after Dino or you really have nothing to post today. Which is it please? I guess your trying to tell us something but what? Like who but you cares.


Posted by Donna

5:46 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Do any of you little Rossi gremlins work for a living? I come home for work, look at the news, including Postman's excellent blog, and there you are -- the same people going waaa, waaa, waaa every day.

Posted by John

5:57 PM, Jul 30, 2008


"Do any of you little Rossi gremlins work for a living? I come home for work, look at the news, including Postman's excellent blog, and there you are -- the same people going waaa, waaa, waaa every day."

Great to know at least one of you "d's" have a job.

Posted by hinweis

9:45 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Your post does play into the story that you "broke" about campaign signs in eastern washington saying "Don't let Seattle steal this election!" Imagine that, something in plain sight for anyone driving by to see -- and that's what somehow makes the "news."

But the things that are hidden away from public view, how come that's not reported, eh? Just once I'd like to see some genuine, old-fashioned shoe-leather, reporting around here.

After decades of single party domination, and now big majorities in both chambers of the legislature, you're telling me there aren't any stories to go after except how irrelevant the GOP has become?

It would seem these kinds of stories get written because it's the first resort for a press corps that's gotten pretty comfy with the status-quo.

Posted by upchuck

9:49 PM, Jul 30, 2008

I think I remember hearing a bit about Mayor Nickels doing something similar in a mailer a year or two back where he had different pics tailored to different neighborhoods in Seattle.

Posted by JimD

11:32 PM, Jul 30, 2008

Bothsides wrote:
"... I don't see you picking apart CG's ads! ..."

Ahhh....yes you have.
David posted one of hers recently, with something closer to "picking apart" than anything said about the first of Rossi's ads.
Do you Rossi supporters EVER stop playing the martyr?
You sound like the whacked-out screamers on Jerry Springer or COPS, always blaming everyone else for some supposed grievance that makes you a victim.
Non-stop whining and crying over this and that...grand, emotional proclamations with dramatic exclamation marks like you're some trailer park Machiavellian temper tantrum after another....and most of them (like this one) containing no truth at all, just making stuff up as you go along so you have SOMETHING to complain about.

Good grief, Bothsides - how can you possibly say Postman hasn't dis'd Gregoire?
Most everything he prints about Gregoire documents some disingenuous misrepresentation.
Your complaint that he's posted about the first of Rossi's ads, on a local political blog where the race for Governor is the #1 hot topic, is almost pathological.
You read this blog like a hawk and obviously know that your charge of bias is simply, not true.
Could you remind us any more how Rossi's deceitful campaign is supported by birds of the same feather?

Posted by Bothsides

5:54 AM, Jul 31, 2008


You wouldn't make it in advertising either. This is news? Come on man, this is nothing, except a made up reason to write about Rossi. OMG, the Rossi campaign is trying to reach a certain segment of voters, and persuade them to vote for him, OMG, that's terrible....

Posted by The Black Hand

8:14 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Boy I cannot remember the last Postman critisizm of Chris Gregoire.....interesting.

Posted by John

9:14 AM, Jul 31, 2008

The only explanation to the one sided slam on Dino is, he’s winning the hearts and minds of the voters. Voters like to see progress in our elected officials to date we have seen lack of any leadership; negative budget and the state employment rise to record levels.

Her ads are getting tiring night after night the same old lies and no one except the seattle times is buying it.

I ‘m sure with the newspapers revenue in historic decline they tried this year for help being an election year the timing was off there only hope is next year with the reappointment of the queen.
When Dino wins do you think postman will be on TVW?
With ratings falling on upfront he has no place but the declining Times job.

Posted by JimD

11:43 AM, Jul 31, 2008

"...OMG, the Rossi campaign is trying to reach a certain segment of voters, and persuade them to vote for him, OMG, that's terrible...."

Postman never said the editing was terrible...or made any negative comment about it at all.
Is it news?
Well -- this is a rather esoteric blog for Washington State political junkies offered by the Political Editor of a major newspaper where most of us are very wrapped-up in the local governor's race.
Why wouldn't "Dino Rossi's first TV ad of the campaign" not be of interest, just as Gregoire's ads have all been similarly posted and discussed?
Again - you're claiming bias by Postman where none exists.

As for the regional versions of Rossi's ad - something unusual in a state-wide race - I think it begs the question, why is he excluding a graphic of a public transit vehicle in his eastern Washington version?
If he wants to suggest an affirmative interest in public transportation in western Washington, why does is he intentionally not want to give eastern Washington the same message?
He didn't substitute the bus reference with something else.
He simply left it out.
The only "appeal" this seems to represent to conservative rural voters is the absence of public transportation reference.
I guess it might be more appealing to eastern Washington because it fails to convey to them how he's suggesting to westerners how he'd spend their money on something they they'd never use - the opposite of what his western Washington ad suggests.

Some of us find this sort of detail interesting.
If you don't, why not post on topics that do interest you.

Posted by Bob-o

12:08 PM, Jul 31, 2008

What, a politician tailor the ad to match the market? Unheard of! Get some real newspaper reporters on this right away... do we know any? Maybe the Washington Post has some.

Posted by JimD

2:04 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Unlike a Pepsi commercial, advertising methods in a political commercial obviously reflect the candidates political ethics.
Rossi's two different cuts reveals a conflicting message that's symbolic of his campaign ethics as a whole - duplicitous and squirrelly.
Have Gregoire's ads been similarly disingenuous?
Sure - and it's been posted about and discussed here as well.
But she isn't running two different cuts of the same ad to hide the interest he takes in public transportation on this side of the mountains, from potential supporters on the other side.
Is it the worst thing he's done?
LOL...not even close.
But for those who take an in-depth interest in political messaging - and this blog after all, is the place where we congregate - the conflicting versions are an interesting representation of Rossi's political style.

Who says what's posted and discussed here has to have mainstream appeal.
This is a political blog for political junkies...right?

Posted by Aaron

2:04 PM, Jul 31, 2008

It may be noteworthy that on Rossi's home page, he has the more Seattle-targeted video, with the bus and the city skyline.

Posted by JimD

2:11 PM, Jul 31, 2008

That's interesting.
I'm supposing he has eastern Washington pretty-much wrapped up (I'm there right now and Rossi signs are everywhere), and he believes the public-transit version is more reasuring to the western metro voters he needs to attract.
Too bad the bus isn't a light rail train :-(

Posted by Bothsides

8:23 AM, Aug 04, 2008

"Unlike a Pepsi commercial, advertising methods in a political commercial obviously reflect the candidates political ethics.
Rossi's two different cuts reveals a conflicting message that's symbolic of his campaign ethics as a whole - duplicitous and squirrelly.

Now that is pathological......

Posted by John

5:55 PM, Aug 04, 2008

You’re my favorite liberal JIMD. Both personalities have shown me why my party will win in 2008 and why America needs to stand up against liberalism.

You cannot hide under the name Jamesb Mr. Jimd, I only wish you could go National with your intriguing thoughtless mind process of many words but nothing to really say. In fact BHO must be your mentor, you have so little to say on anything that your posts are meaningless when it comes to substance. I have never been a racist and find your accusations laughable.

I do not want to cause other posters trouble on this blog everyone knows what your real motives are on this blog now, so I will not be posting here any longer as you true colors have been reveled.

As I said before I am your worst nightmare as you have proven in your hits on me, which brings a smile thank you.

I expect what ticked you off today was this…


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Jul 30, 08 - 10:41 AM
Rossi's subtle editing







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