Parody in the Home Pages Scrambles 'The Real Thing.'(presidential Campaign Satirical Web Sites Are Mistaken for Real)

By Leiter, Lisa | Insight on the News, March 25, 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Parody in the Home Pages Scrambles 'The Real Thing.'(presidential Campaign Satirical Web Sites Are Mistaken for Real)


Leiter, Lisa, Insight on the News


Negative campaigning has seized the 1996 presidential race just as it has in election years past: radio and TV attack ads; finger-pointing press releases; downright nasty debates. Mud, figuratively speaking, is everywhere.

Everywhere except the Internet. Bob Dole hasn't once accused Steve Forbes of flaming him (a cyberattack) via E-mail. Lamar Alexander hasn't launched an on-line campaign against Pat Buchanan. In terms of netiquette, this is one clean campaign, save a few jabs on the official candidate home-page sites of the World Wide Web.

That's no surprise, say computer junkies. Cybercampaigning is a new medium -- one that many of the 1996 contenders never used before this year. They're getting up to speed, though. Alexander announced his candidacy on-line and Buchanan's low-budget campaign relies heavily upon volunteers known as the "Internet Brigade" to post information, enter the cyberpolls and spread news.

"Bob Dole's been surfing the Internet for many years," says a sarcastic Mark Pace, a 24-year-old San Francisco systems engineer. "I have a feeling that as the candidates get more involved with the mode of communication, then there will be more mudslinging on it." But, until the other big-time politicians upgrade their personal computers and learn the lingo, they will just have to rely upon conventional mudslinging methods and leave the Internet fun to Pace and others. Pace, a confessed "fed-up political junkie," and his high-school buddy, 26-year-old computer-test developer Brooks Talley, decided to poke some fun at the 1996 presidential hopefuls. Last June, they found former candidate Phil Gramm's Web site. It was so tacky, so uninformative, they recall, that they thought they were looking at a parody.

When they realized it was the real thing, they had an idea. They secured site names such as dole96 and buchanan96, just like the real Gramm page name. They then created Web sites with witty, satirical tidbits about the candidates, chock-full of graphics almost identical to those on the official pages. Their Dole page includes the Dole fruit-company logo and boasts that he is "a ripe man for the job" and founder of the Dole fruit company. Buchanan's site provides "links to fascist organizations," which takes you to the Aryan Nation home page. Forbes' site says his "very name conjures up images of power, wealth and glossy magazines."

They've caught some harsh E-mail from various candidate supporters, complaining that they're stealing art or disrupting democracy with their antics.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Parody in the Home Pages Scrambles 'The Real Thing.'(presidential Campaign Satirical Web Sites Are Mistaken for Real)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?