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Is The San Francisco Chronicle Promoting The Perata Candidacy On The Sly?
From The Anybody But Perata Website
Two months ago, we asked why the San Francisco Chronicle was pushing California gubernatorial and Oakland mayoral candidates on the state and local budget crises while giving Don Perata a pass ("Why Is The San Francisco Chronicle Practicing A Double Standard When It Comes To Political Candidates And The Budget Crisis?").
Now we're wondering if the San Francisco newspaper is promoting Perata's Oakland mayoral candidacy on the sly?
An article in the August 12, 2010 Chronicle on the final lineup for the Oakland mayor's race seems to be doing just that ("13 Candidates File For Oakland Mayor's Race").
The article itself is fair, listing all of the candidates who have filed—major and minor—giving an example of what the reporter calls "unusual" views of the minor candidates, and detailing how Oakland's new ranked-choice voting might influence the outcome of the race.
In the article itself, Perata gets less attention than one of the other major candidates, Oakland City Councilmember Jean Quan. Perata's name gets mention three times in the article to Quan's four, and Quan is quoted in the article, while Perata is not. The other major candidate in the race, Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, gets mentioned three times.
Still, guess who the online editors of the Chronicle decided to highlight in the only photograph for the 13 candidate article. Don Perata.
There have already been two debates in the Oakland mayoral race in which several of the candidates participated—though not Perata—and since the article was about the large number of candidates running, the Chronicle could have chosen a photograph that showed many of those candidates all together on one platform. Instead, they went with the Perata photo.
By contrast, in its June 11 online article on the first Oakland mayoral debate ("Oakland Debate Kicks Mayoral Campaign Season Into Gear"), the Oakland Tribune chose a slideshow presentation of single shots of all six candidates in the debate.
On the other hand, in its July 16 photo-caption article of the second mayoral debate ("Seven Mayoral Candidates Debate Public Safety"), Oakland Local chose a single shot of the seven candidates then participating.
The Chronicle putting the Perata picture up and no others—in an article that does not feature Perata—may look like a small thing, but it adds up.
This is one of the techniques of advertising, often called "product placement." You keep putting the image of your product—or candidate—before the public until that image is burned in the public's mind. Eventually they are subtly drawn to the product—or candidate—without even knowing why.
Political campaigns do this all the time. That is why they pay so much money for political advertising in mailers, newspapers, and on television.
We just wonder why the San Francisco Chronicle seems to be providing this type of "product placement" advertising for the Perata for mayor campaign for free?
You can contact the Anybody But Perata For Mayor website at firstname.lastname@example.org