It seems that every commercial is now political. In fact, we receive logs regarding our ads and they show that very few are running right now. Of course, that’s no surprise. Political advertising has the right to purchase ads at the lowest price on the station. And by law, they can “bump” non-political ads from the airwaves.
Most of the time, an ad barely catches my attention. How many politicians walking in their casual sweater or talking intently to a crowd in their rolled-up-sleeves can you really take. Then, an ad will come on TV that charges some amazing statistic or belief about the opposing candidate.
John McManus has written a book “Don’t be fooled: A Citizen’s Guide to News and Information in the Digital Age“, to give tactics on sifting through the truth versus lies. It helps turn all of us journalists.
The Internet has given us all the ability to do quick fact checking. He gives some suggestions for places to turn to. Here are a few places to look:
FactCheck.org: a site managed by the University of Pennsylvania that you will see listed in newspapers. It analyzes statements by politicians and news makers. They pull material from radio, TV and print advertisements.
Snopes.com: a place to go when you hear a story that sounds so unbelieveable that you cannot tell whether to believe it or whether it is a myth.
Politifact.com: a site operated by the “Tampa Bay Times” that claims to sort out the truth. It rates politicians claims and even gives one category of “pants on fire”.
It’s great to have the Internet. Wouldn’t it be great to have a “truth light” on the TV for watching the news there. Or, maybe invent a flashlight to shine on friends, when they tell stories. Kinda like the mood ring, to see if they would change colors. Truth is fun!
I guess if there is some fear of what is out there… this is what happens: