In 1934, Upton Sinclair, ‘muck-raking’ novelist, was the Democratic candidate for governor of California. Sinclair had previously run for office as a socialist, and Sinclair referred to his platform as the EPIC movement: End Poverty In California.
The opposition defined Sinclair as a communist. Some in the movie industry filmed actors getting off of box cars. The footage was presented to movie audiences as authentic film of hobos migrating to California, in anticipation of receiving hnad-outs, should Sinclair win.
Sinclair was defeated.
Here is an that the Republican National Committee is running in Tennessee that criticizes the Democratic candidate, Harold Ford. The blurring of the line between person-in-the-street testimonials, and actors reading scripted lines is, to put it mildly, troubling.