Nightly News | August 16, 2012
>>> from the world of presidential politics , today our country quietly reached and passed a new threshold. as of today according to the analysis of our own nbc news political unit, spending on 2012 presidential radio and tv ads has now surpassed the $500 million mark with $37 million spent just this week so far the grand total is now $512 million. that's about as much as was spent in the entire '08 campaign and it's not even labor day yet. by and large this money goes to tv stations and networks but we thought we'd take a look at what else that much money could buy. for starters, $500 million could feed 9.2 million malnourished children for 50 days. it could immunize 29 million children for life. it could provide clean water for 500 million children for 40 days . and it could buy 166 million antimalarial mosquito bed nets , two for every person in the democratic republic of the congo . instead, it's buying television commercials and the real general election campaign hasn't really even started yet.