Boehner Uses CNN to Reach Low-Information Voters

US President Barack Obama (R) meets Speaker John Boehner in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on February
US President Barack Obama (R) meets Speaker John Boehner in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on February 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

As Speaker of the House, John Boehner could choose any news outlet for his editorials. Media outlets love an exclusive, and an editorial from the man who is third in line to the presidency counts as an exclusive regardless of the editorial position of the publication in which it appears.

So why did Boehner choose to give this particular exclusive to CNN? Why not The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or some other media outlet with a tradition of hosting serious editorials from national leaders?

Welcoming the Low Information Voter to the 2014 Election

In choosing CNN, the Speaker of the House is clearly appealing to Low Information Voters, aka, Swing Voters. These are people who do not ordinarily follow politics. They may sense that something is seriously wrong with the country. They may even be a little bit angry, especially if they are unemployed or feel threatened in some way. But they can't explain exactly why they are angry, they don't know what's behind the problem, and they aren't clear about who to blame.

Boehner naturally wants them to blame the President. He may or may not file a lawsuit by November, but it doesn't really matter. All the Speaker has to do is to keep Republican seats in the House and pick up enough seats in the Senate for a successful impeachment. That is the ultimate plan.

Boehner's CNN editorial, like his plan to sue the president, seeks to capitalize on these voters overall lack of information about politics and media outlets. Boehner and his handlers know that Low Information Voters are as uninformed about the editorial agendas of various media outlets as they are about politics, climate change, economics, or anything else that requires any amount of research or effort to understand. These voters are unable to tell fact from propaganda. They do not want to analyze or think about an issue. They tend to be intellectually lazy.

That's why they watch CNN.

Low Information Voters are as uninformed about media as they are about politics. When asked about what newspapers they read, they sound remarkably like Sarah Palin in her interview with Katie Couric, when the would-be Vice President was asked which newspapers she read:

"I've read most of them." Which is to say, "None at all."

One of the sad truths of American politics is that elections are not decided by the those who are best suited to make an informed decision, but by Low Information Voters who are swayed one way or the other during a particular election cycle. To use a sports analogy, it's as if the players who work the hardest and are the most qualified to play are benched on the day of the game, only to be replaced by players who don't understand the game, don't know the rules, and don't appreciate the outcome. This is Boehner's target audience.

This is why Boehner chose CNN.

Bob Seay is Editor of