Attacking the attack ads; Are political advertisements governed?
Mon, 30 Jul 2012 22:34:20 GMT —
If you didn't cast your ballot in early voting, Tuesday the 31st is the day for runoffs from elections earlier in the year, gearing up for the general election in November.
You've probably also noticed a lot of political ads running during our commercial breaks, but how do you know who to believe if they're all accusing each other of deception?
There are some things about political ads that are different from other types of advertising. for instance, you have one ad running now accusing a politician of raising taxes and the politician denies it.
So, who's telling the truth and who might be bending it a little?
Sometimes it's hard to tell because everyone seems to be slinging accusations at their opponent. But, if it's on TV it must be true, right?
No so fast..
According to the FCC, TV stations are not allowed to censor or edit the text of any political advertisement even though they may be offensive or libelous. Which means political ads that might be stretching the truth can air without any oversight.
Opposition might ask the ads be pulled to check their veracity, but many times by then, the damage is already done, according to political professor at West Texas A&M University, Dr. David Rausch.
"Again, it's could take a little while (to get the ad pulled) so the damage could already be done; that other campaign that's being attacked needs to respond quickly so as to not have lasting irreparable harm on the campaign."
Dr. Rasuch says instead of believing everything that is sent down the pike by politicians, its up to voters to do a little fact checking on their own to find out which politician might bs speaking out of both sides of his or her mouth.
"You could do all sorts of fact checking and sure, the newspaper article said that, but it's taken so out of context that it was actually the caption under the picture, next to the ad for shoes... I don't really think there's really a way to constitutionally restrict campaign advertisements."
So be forewarned that when you watch a political ad, you might want to put on a filter because TV stations cannot.