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An outsider's look inside the electoral-industrial complex.


TV has zero effect. You can run ads all night long telling people to vote, and it doesn't work. Robocalls have a negative effect, they actually make people less likely to vote. Personal calls, some effect. What really works is having people go door to door and talking to voters. Preferably people from that neighborhood. People like to meet real people, as opposed to being shouted at from a TV screen.

Journalist Andrew Cockburn examines America's manic, multi-billion dollar campaign season and finds disfunction everywhere - from politicians and PACs leaping finance regulations to line the pockets of consultants selling massively ineffectual television ad strategies, to a media too busy counting cash to bother with accountability - and explains why the Sanders and Trump campaigns are finding their own successes outside the election-industrial complex.

Andrew wrote Down the Tube: Television, turnout, and the election-industrial complex for Harper's magazine.

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Andrew Cockburn

Andrew Cockburn is a writer and Washington Editor of Harper’s magazine.


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