Candidate appearances on entertainment television have become a staple of recent presidential campaigns, yet little is known about their effect on voters. Many assume that they leave viewers uninformed and focused on the candidate's personal image. In this article, the author investigates this idea with an experiment using John Kerry's 2004 appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman. He finds that-contrary to popular expectations-late night interviews have particular features that can, at times, engage otherwise politically disinterested viewers, causing them to process and recall substantive policy information.
Parkin, Michael. 2010. "Taking Late Night Comedy Seriously: How Candidate Appearances On Late Night Television Can Engage Viewers." Political Research Quarterly 63(1): 3-15.
Political Research Quarterly
Political communication, Elections and voting behavior, Political psychology, Public opinion, Political participation