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Chode2235

Campaign Ads - How Accurate Are They?

48 posts in this topic

Thought this was an interesting editorial in yesterdays editorial, and wanted to share it with you. Lets not get caught up in the he said/she said news narrative. Because like my neighborhood, most of the gossip is false.

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Blizzard of Lies

By PAUL KRUGMAN

Published: September 11, 2008

Did you hear about how Barack Obama wants to have sex education in kindergarten, and called Sarah Palin a pig? Did you hear about how Ms. Palin told Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks” when it wanted to buy Alaska a Bridge to Nowhere?

These stories have two things in common: they’re all claims recently made by the McCain campaign — and they’re all out-and-out lies.

Dishonesty is nothing new in politics. I spent much of 2000 — my first year at The Times — trying to alert readers to the blatant dishonesty of the Bush campaign’s claims about taxes, spending and Social Security.

But I can’t think of any precedent, at least in America, for the blizzard of lies since the Republican convention. The Bush campaign’s lies in 2000 were artful — you needed some grasp of arithmetic to realize that you were being conned. This year, however, the McCain campaign keeps making assertions that anyone with an Internet connection can disprove in a minute, and repeating these assertions over and over again.

Take the case of the Bridge to Nowhere, which supposedly gives Ms. Palin credentials as a reformer. Well, when campaigning for governor, Ms. Palin didn’t say “no thanks” — she was all for the bridge, even though it had already become a national scandal, insisting that she would “not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative.”

Oh, and when she finally did decide to cancel the project, she didn’t righteously reject a handout from Washington: she accepted the handout, but spent it on something else. You see, long before she decided to cancel the bridge, Congress had told Alaska that it could keep the federal money originally earmarked for that project and use it elsewhere.

So the whole story of Ms. Palin’s alleged heroic stand against wasteful spending is fiction.

Or take the story of Mr. Obama’s alleged advocacy of kindergarten sex-ed. In reality, he supported legislation calling for “age and developmentally appropriate education”; in the case of young children, that would have meant guidance to help them avoid sexual predators.

And then there’s the claim that Mr. Obama’s use of the ordinary metaphor “putting lipstick on a pig” was a sexist smear, and on and on.

Why do the McCain people think they can get away with this stuff? Well, they’re probably counting on the common practice in the news media of being “balanced” at all costs. You know how it goes: If a politician says that black is white, the news report doesn’t say that he’s wrong, it reports that “some Democrats say” that he’s wrong. Or a grotesque lie from one side is paired with a trivial misstatement from the other, conveying the impression that both sides are equally dirty.

They’re probably also counting on the prevalence of horse-race reporting, so that instead of the story being “McCain campaign lies,” it becomes “Obama on defensive in face of attacks.”

Still, how upset should we be about the McCain campaign’s lies? I mean, politics ain’t beanbag, and all that.

One answer is that the muck being hurled by the McCain campaign is preventing a debate on real issues — on whether the country really wants, for example, to continue the economic policies of the last eight years.

But there’s another answer, which may be even more important: how a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern.

I’m not talking about the theory, often advanced as a defense of horse-race political reporting, that the skills needed to run a winning campaign are the same as those needed to run the country. The contrast between the Bush political team’s ruthless effectiveness and the heckuva job done by the Bush administration is living, breathing, bumbling, and, in the case of the emerging Interior Department scandal, coke-snorting and bed-hopping proof to the contrary.

I’m talking, instead, about the relationship between the character of a campaign and that of the administration that follows. Thus, the deceptive and dishonest 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign provided an all-too-revealing preview of things to come. In fact, my early suspicion that we were being misled about the threat from Iraq came from the way the political tactics being used to sell the war resembled the tactics that had earlier been used to sell the Bush tax cuts.

And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class. What does that say about how that team would run the country?

What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.

Please, let's keep this thread focused on both campaigns ads and how accurate the ads are.

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Once the current investigations by the dem's in Alaska are complete then we can take a look at whats, what.

As for the bridge What was the end result?

As for the money What was the end result?

As for Trooper gate he should go to jail for tazering his son.

As for the largest construction project in North America it's game on.

And what's with that silly 80%+ approval rating up there?

And that crazy 12 pt shift in the womens voting poll?

Yep things are lookin bleak for the RNC

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IMHO, if Barack doesn't start hitting back with some quarter-half-truths of his own, he's going to get his arse handed to him. You can't let the other guy land cheap shots unless you're willing to hit below the belt, too.

Kerry, paging a Mr. John Kerry...

Ads work. There is always a tiny, twisted grain of truth in the ads (the "sex education ad" is proof just how tiny that grain can get) to provide the candidate with plausible deniability.

Unfortunately, too many Americans get their impressions from ads. That's why they work. But are they truthful? Not terribly. It's all about image & spin control. I find them irritating.

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Here's an example of how trustworthy the ads are.

How many of us heard the ads indicating that Gov. Palin suggested that our involvement in Iraq was God ordained?

This was not what she said.

What she did say was that we should pray that what we do in this situation is God ordained. In other words, she was suggesting that we ask God to guide us to do what He desires and not what we desire. Nothing even close to what the ads are suggesting.

Bob

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I hate political ads. When I see them on TV I turn the channel. Most are dishonest and degrading to the us as humans in America. When I'm in search of a canidate, I hop on this internet thing and get the true facts. Or somewhat true facts I guess.

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I don't ever listen to the ads. I switch the channel as well.

If I want info, I get on the candidates sites and review their position/proposed policy on things. That's the only place I look for info and that's only the info I look for. I don't even pay attention to what they say on their sites about their competitor as that is just campaign spins IMO.

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Yep, most adds are ran by third parties who typically run loose with the facts. Gonna be a loooong 7 weeks.

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I've often wondered though, do they know the questions in advance of the debates? If so, then they are not good debates in my opinion. I'd much rather hear what they have to say off the cuff, stumbling and all. It would give a better idea of who they are and how well they can handle stressful situations.

Bob

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I can't stand the ads, this is why I rarely watch live tv. Everything, including football and all sports are on the DVR and I don't have to watch any commercials, muchless these blow hards. Debates help me decide more than the ads anyway.

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The argument would be 7 weeks is better than 4 years, right? Can I get an Amen?!

Well in your case its going to be a looong 215 weeks. grin

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Gotta go the way of Canada. Harper dissolved the government, and they'll have a new election in early October. I think it'll be all over in 6 weeks. We've been haranged for 2 years already.

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I watch the ads on the rare occasion I'm watching TV for the same reason I watch them during the Super Bowl. They are mighty entertaining.

Not loaded with facts, of course, just entertaining.

If a person is undecided about who they will vote for, watching campaign ads is a mistake. To answer the question posed in the title of this thread, they rarely are accurate, but that's to be expected. Since when has advertising been about fact or about truth? Advertising is just a modern word for "lie," or, to use more words, a way to get us to buy (vote) for a product (politician) we don't really want and didn't really need anyway. For this, distortion, not accuracy, is the rule

Undecided? Want to vote your conscience instead of a competition? Watch debates. Look at the mainstream folks for sure, but also look at the independent candidates, who rarely get the media spotlight but have valuable things to say. Dig into news sources in print, TV and online. The facts are out there.

TV campaign ads. Really. It's an insult to the American public that so many millions are spent on them each election cycle, and we're insulting ourselves when we believe them.

Hokay, rant over! So, how 'bout those Twins?! gringrin

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I've often wondered though, do they know the questions in advance of the debates? If so, then they are not good debates in my opinion. .

Bob

Depends on the specific debate and the election year. PAst debates used to be organized by the League of Women's Voters, a non partisan group. A few years ago, the LOWV lost the debates to a fancy ommission.

Guess who runs the commission? BOTH PARTIES! 9And you wonder why there aren't any mainstream third parties. This debate commission sets the rules and topics. Probably the most pathetic

"debates" were in the 2004 Pres Election. An intersting link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4052162

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Originally Posted By: BobT
I've often wondered though, do they know the questions in advance of the debates? If so, then they are not good debates in my opinion. .

Bob

Depends on the specific debate and the election year. PAst debates used to be organized by the League of Women's Voters, a non partisan group. A few years ago, the LOWV lost the debates to a fancy ommission.

Guess who runs the commission? BOTH PARTIES! 9And you wonder why there aren't any mainstream third parties. This debate commission sets the rules and topics. Probably the most pathetic

"debates" were in the 2004 Pres Election. An intersting link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4052162

Amen!

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I see the mccainpedia.org now lists 52 'lies' that McCain is making out on the campaign trail.

"To date, independent, nonpartisan fact checkers have published more than 50 fact checks debunking John McCain's lies and distortions."

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Has anyone else seen the new Anti-Franken commerical where it is all Franken swearing (bleeped out) lines and hearing him scream at people? I was shocked to see it, but think it will be effective.

I am now interested in seeing what the Franken group does to counter this. The only thing I can think is it is going to get worse, much worse.

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I agree, the Frank/Cole is going to get very nasty. 2 weeks ago cole was up by 13 pts and the latest pole shows them almost even. So does this answer peoples question. "do these type of ads work?"

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Funny how everyone talks about what experience the pres candidates have but what about Stuart Smally. The ads all bite. I don't like the guy but so what if he swears.

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Even more interesting, in my opinion, is the surge by Barkley. Americans are increasing frustrated with attacks with no evidence of a plan

The definition of insanity is doing the same things the same way and expecting a different result.

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I think we all can agree that the MN senate race is going to get nasty, and no matter who wins it will leave a bitter taste in about 49% of Minnesotans. Whomever wins it wont be a safe seat, unless they really get to work (doubtful).

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Big T you are correct the Barkley surge leads to the question Where would our buddy the Ex Gov Jessie be if he would have hopped in. I think he really would have grabbed up a lions share of this not to mention his own following. These bums may have both been given the heave ho. Like him or not I really think these guys would have their hands full running a three or four sided race. If nothing else it would have been amuzing to watch. Although I personally don't follow polls with much seriousness. Recent polls have a really bad record of being correct. REALLY bad. Like the press IMO they also now have agendas. Man I'm suspicious but......

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I see the mccainpedia.org now lists 52 'lies' that McCain is making out on the campaign trail.

"To date, independent, nonpartisan fact checkers have published more than 50 fact checks debunking John McCain's lies and distortions."

Independent, nonpartisan? Now THAT'S funny!

McCainpedia.org is a wiki run by the DNC’s Research, Communications, and Internet teams. The goal is to centralize research material, allowing the general public to use it as they see fit.

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