Campaign ads: political discourse or public disgrace?

    Do you pay attention to campaign ads, or do you shut them out? Is it just “the other guy” who’s lying? What gets your attention? And what do you think of attack ads?

    According to our friends at FactCheck.org, the above campaign ad, President Obama’s debut in 2012, “misleads on ethics, ‘clean-energy’ jobs and U.S. dependence on oil imports” — by using outdated quotations, taking credit for creating jobs that existed before he took office, and being disingenuous about the reasons for America’s declining dependence on foreign oil. (And that one is mild compared to what we can expect through November.)

    But everyone does it, right? How can a campaign expect to succeed if it does not bend thetruth, embellish facts, take false credit, and refuse to deny misinformation about opponents?

    Do you pay attention to campaign ads, or do you shut them out? Is it just “the other guy” who’s lying? What gets your attention? And what do you think of attack ads?

    Tell us in the comment below.

    Of course a campaign is built around the idea of building up a candidate, highlighting his or her successes, and pointing out the failures of the opponent. But facts rarely keep either side from making the centerpoint of their campaign statements a — ahem — highly subjective version of the truth.

    And with the increasing influence and spending of super-PACs, truth and accountability in political advertising seems more elusive than ever.

    On Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m., Neil Oxman of political ad production house The Campaign Group will address WHYY and NewsWorks members in a non-partisan presentation about the strategy and tactics of presidential campaign advertising, highlighting some of the most notorious ads in history.

    What do you know about campaign ads? What do you want to know? Tell us below.

    Meanwhile revisit this oldie. Is it so different from today?

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