Slinging The Mud - When Political Ads Attack
With the 2012 presidential election looming, political ads are flooding the television and air waves When an incumbent drops in the polls, it’s time to go on the attack. If a newcomer isn't doing as well as expected, unleash the hounds. When it comes to political ads, there aren't many rules and nothing is off limits.
We've all seen this on a national level, but the local races can get downright nasty. Below, I've written a few example attack ads. The examples below are entirely fictional. Here we have Mr. Blue (D) and Mr. Red (R) engaging in a close state Senate race. Mr. Red will get the ball rolling:
Sad yet inspirational mucic intro...
"Vote Jon Red (R) for state senate on Nov 6. Jon is for traditional families. His opponent George Blue, has a clear distaste for the nuclear family. George is a gay marriage supporter who is out of touch with our family values. George Blue once strangled a litter of puppies with his bare hands. George wants to raise your taxes and if elected will invite illegal immigrants into your home. Don’t let this happen. Vote Jon Red on Nov 8 and rest assured your family will be safe from gay illegal aliens. This message is sponsored by Jon Red for state Senate."
After fact checking, some of these claims were found to be false. Mr. Blue had never strangled any puppies. In fact, George Blue is an avid dog lover Mr. Blue once had to have an elderly pet euthanized but this procedure was performed by his local veterinarian. Mr. Blue has always supported immigration by legal means and is open to the idea of marriage for everyone..
Mr. Blue’s camp wasn't going to let this ad go unopposed. He fires back:
Scary music intro....
"Mr. Red has issues with the truth. He voted three times to cut social security from seniors. Mr. Red is on the record stating he would make seniors pay back any social security payments received. Mr. Red wants to bury our senior citizens alive. Jon Red is a card carrying Tea Party member who wants to arm our children with automatic weapons. Jon Red, a bigot with extreme views on race and equality reminiscent of the Jim Crow era....Only you can stop this from happening. Vote for George Blue and equality Tuesday..."
Fact check shows that Mr Red does in fact have some questions about social security, but his record shows no vote to cut it. There is no evidence of Jon Red wanting to bury seniors alive. Although he does have Tea Party support, the claims of arming children or being a bigot were unfounded.
Swinging back, Mr. Red comes to fight for moral values...
Scarier music intro...
"George Blue has declared war on the American family. If elected he will vote to outlaw marriage between a man and woman. He will quadruple taxes on business owners, and redistribute wealth with a radical tax agenda sure to leave Americans unemployed and on welfare. George is against the death penalty and would open the floodgates of crime and violence to your front door. Please, for the love of America and everything just and right, vote Jon Red on the 6th and stop the world from ending."
Once again Fact check shows some untrue statements. Nothing was found in connection with Mr. Blue's support of banning heterosexual marriage . Mr. Blue has supported tax increases on the wealthy, but never on middle class families. Mr. Blue is against the death penalty but has shown no interest on repealing the law in place. Also, nothing was found connecting Mr. Blue with the apocalypse.
George Blue cannot just let these accusations go, he goes on the offensive once again.
Terrorizing music intro with screams...
"Jon Red is a liar! He will raise taxes on the working class and abolish medicaid. He is a draft dodging racists who will no doubt set this state back 50 years if he stays in office. Mr. Red has supported legislation to drill for oil in your parks, lakes, and cemeteries Mr. Red may have been a member of the KKK in college, where he DID NOT graduate. Please, for the sake of our planet, vote for George Blue."
The researchers on our fact check team did not find any true statements in this ad.
And so on and on it goes. Both sides sling the mud and both get down and dirty. More claims are made, more finger pointing at the debates, and best of all, more scaring the voters into the right choice. But hey, we all have a choice and the freedom to make it, even if the two choices are covered in mud.
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