Psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig: On The Role of Appearance in Politics, Television and the 2012 Presidential Race; Did Michelle Bachmann Get More Coverage than Ron Paul After Iowa Straw Poll Because of Looks?

With a virtual tie in the Iowa Straw Poll last weekend, between Republican Presidential hopefuls Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, some people were wondering why Congressman Paul was not getting the same kind of media attention the congresswoman from Minnesota received.
With that in mind, and to examine the current 2012 Presidential Election landscape, we welcome back, CYInterview regular, Dr. Robi Ludwig.

Our focus during this conversation is understanding the impact physical appearances of presidential candidates have on determining who the media extends coverage to. For example, was Michele Bachmann’s appearance a determining factor as to why she received more airtime than Dr. Ron Paul.

Listen to the entire interview with Dr. Robi Ludwig:

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Here is part of what Dr. Ludwig shared with me, and featured columnist Jay Bildstein, who joined me for this CYInterview:

“I think anything that is TV related is connected to image, that’s just a fact. TV is a visual medium and those who appeal to our visual aesthetics are going to gain more interest in the public. I mean just in terms of the news stories that are held, you know if you were to have an ugly child who was abducted and murdered, well I don’t know that that story would get covered unless it was really unique in some way. It’s usually a really cute kid that’s telegenic that captures the media’s attention. So of course this is going to be true for politicians as well…

So yes of course, there’s something in the media about sex and sexuality and beauty and that all contributes to what we want to look at, what stories get covered and what we want to see and who we want to talk about…Now if you’re only basing decisions on how people look and not what they stand for, well then that’s when you’re in danger. Then we’ve completely gone over and become a superficial society and we deserve what we get. I don’t know that we’re quite there yet.”

Dr. Ludwig offers insight into how we can differentiate reality from rhetoric and action from image.

“Well, I mean hopefully, we’re gonna have to wise up right? Before we start calling ourselves China, right? I mean, we’re gonna have to and so I think eventually we do catch on. I think the other issue is, I mean, we can’t discriminate against somebody because they look good either and also we have to consider that perhaps somebody who looks good also has valuable things to say. “

On a personal note, last week Robi celebrated her birthday by taking a trip to Costa Rica. She tells us about the experience. Happy Birthday Dr. Ludwig!

“I spent it in Costa Rica doing interesting things so it was a great way to spend a birthday…I was taking photos and I was in the National Park and it was just really great to be in a different culture and just be somewhere new doing something new on my birthday.”

You can check out Dr. Ludwig’s official website at http://www.drrobiludwig.com

You can email Chris Yandek at [email protected]

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