I recently heard KCRG-TV Josh Scheinbloom’s report entitled “Factcheck: Rod Blum attacks Finkenauer.” How and why has our political advertising progressed from an honest statement of the candidate’s accomplishments and campaign “promises” to negative ads with half-truths? How and why has it gotten to the point a candidate’s ad must be fact-checked? Are they not asking us to trust in them and rely on them to be our voice?
The FCC has political programming rules that determine a candidate’s access to broadcast time, equality of that time among candidates, and what the candidate can be charged. But no statement regarding the truthfulness of the ad.
2018 U.S. political advertising revenue prediction by Borrell & associates is reported to be $8.9 billion with broadcast and cable TV receiving $4.6 billion. The FCC requires them to accept political advertising, and there certainly is good money in it.
Fact-checking organizations include Factcheck.org of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Politifact.com of the Poynter Institute, Snopes.com as well as CNN, MSN and NPR. And there is the Media Research Center which fact-checks the factcheckers as they believe journalists have a liberal lean and will be biased on the stories they fact-check.
This whole process is an embarrassment to our dignity, integrity and honesty as humans.
Do the candidates intentionally tell half-truths? Do they lie to their children? How do these ads help us decide who is the best candidate?
• Editor’s Note: Due to an abundance of election-related community letters and limited newspaper space, some are being published only online in an effort to include as many voices as possible.