I often wonder why it is candidates do not take advantage of Public Access outlets to present their points of view, positions and discuss the precise methods they would employ, if elected, to make our lives and government better. Public Access outlets are open and most likely to allow I guess however the thinking is with a ton of money you can reach a broader audience, and with enough money, keep the messages rhetorical. High media prices make the smaller time slot more affordable leaving less room for substance. The result is voters have less information to work with in their decision making process. Now it appears, from the clip below, that these political messages are encroaching upon news and perhaps other informative programming. Political Advertising is free speech. So, I leave it to you all to ponder the spending and possible impact it all has on society.
Here’s what Tim and Candace from the Free Press wrote:
“It’s all about the money.
And we’re not talking nickels and dimes. Broadcasters are raking in billions of dollars from airing thousands of political ads from Super PACs and other outside groups. And way too many of these ads are dishonest.1
So what do broadcasters give viewers in return? Nothing. They have done virtually no fact-checking of the claims made in political ads. To make matters worse, broadcasters have continued to run ads that they know are misleading.2
Stations are legally obligated to run ads from candidates regardless of whether those ads are true or not. But broadcasters are allowed to reject deceptive ads from Super PACs and other outside groups. The problem is that few stations do.
Tell your local TV stations: Step up and stop airing misleading ads.
Free Press analyzed TV stations in six battleground markets to see if they covered political ads in any meaningful way. We found that stations are getting rich from these ads — but are failing to investigate the groups buying airtime. In Denver, for example, there were 162 minutes of political ads from third-party groups for every minute of related news coverage.
Our investigation has already had an impact in Tampa, where a local station manager admitted that stations should do more fact-checking.3
But it’s a different story in Las Vegas, where stations are cutting time out of their newscasts just so they can air more political ads.4
Send a message to stations around the country: Check the facts, and reject political ads that lie.
We’ll deliver your message to to the general managers of the ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates in the top 50 media markets.
Election Day is just around the corner and local stations are getting richer by the minute. We must hold broadcasters accountable for airing ads that mislead voters. Join us by taking action today. ”
Tim, Candace and the rest of the Free Press team
Their links as corresponding from above:
1. Money, News and Deception in Denver, Free Press, October 2012: http://act.freepress.net/go/12211?t=7&akid=3888.9426900.qk2kDH
2. Left in the Dark: Local Election Coverage in the Age of Big-Money Politics, Free Press, September 2012: http://act.freepress.net/go/12402?t=9&akid=3888.9426900.qk2kDH
3. “Political Ads Air, True or False,” Tampa Bay Times, Oct. 7, 2012: http://act.freepress.net/go/12403?t=11&akid=3888.9426900.qk2kDH
4. “Never to Be Outdone, Vegas Sets Record for Political Ads,” New York Times, Oct. 16, 2012: http://act.freepress.net/go/12378?t=13&akid=3888.9426900.qk2kDH