Another time when the press rode madly off in all directions without thinking was over the story of Russians meddling in the election by buying Facebook ads. Nobody ever seemed to say, “Wait a minute! Are Facebook ads REALLY that effective?!”
In a refreshing turn of events, a former strategist for multiple Clinton campaigns has finally admitted that, no, it is impossible for some Russian troublemakers to have determined the outcome of a US presidential election with $100,000 worth of Facebook ads (believe me, if you could win the presidency with a few Facebook ads, I would have happily written Mark Zuckerberg a check.)
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Mark Penn notes that not only did more than half the ads run after the election and many in non-swing states like California and Texas, but $100,000 is a molecule of one drop in a trough of campaign spending that it takes to win the White House. Hillary Clinton’s campaign budget was $1.4 billion. The amount of money the Russians spent on ads that actually touched on the election was about $6500, or 0.00046% of what Hillary spent (not counting the billions of dollars’ worth of free advertising the media gave her.) If she couldn’t counter their ads, then they must’ve had a Russian Don Draper on their team.
The inescapable conclusion for anyone who’s being even slightly honest is that the Russian ads had zero effect on the outcome of the election. Or if they did, then we really dodged a bullet by not putting Hillary in charge of our money. Because, man, she must have made some truly terrible spending decisions!
PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT. I READ THEM!