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Unseeing Eye, the

In 1976, Syracuse political scientists Thomas Patterson and Robert D. McClure published The Unseeing Eye: The Myth of Television Power in National Elections, detailing the controversial and groundbreaking results of one of the first rigorous and systematic studies of television's impacts on the outcomes of an election. This National Science Foundation funded analysis employed a four-wave panel study with interviews of over 600 subjects, as well as content analysis of news and political ads aired by both major parties in the 1972 presidential campaign.

The authors contend that their findings negate the conventional wisdom that political commercials are devoid of political issue information, whereas broadcast news coverage provides a panacea of campaign issue coverage. Conversely, Patterson and McClure reported that political ads actually taught viewers more ...

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