Those stupid new Swift Boat ads...and a thought

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Oct 20, 2004.

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  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    Here we are talking about misleading political ads again.

    I can't help getting my hackles up about the latest Swift Boat ads*: 1, 2.

    Which brought me back to the subject we discussed a couple of weeks ago: how do you deal with misleading political ads?

    Rather than "filtering" ads through some kind of commission or media resource, I had this idea. Tell me what you think.

    Political ads must, by law, allow the opponent a chance for rebuttal. Here's how that would work.

    Let's say the Bush campaign wants to air one of their misleading ads. Fine. What happens then is, before it's aired, they have to submit their ad to an independent office, perhaps someone at the FEC.

    This person's job would turn around and hand the ad to the Kerry people. Kerry's staff would then have 48 hrs. to come up with a rebuttal.

    The rebuttal would consist of one of three forms:

    • a rebuttal ad, of the same length, which must run immediately following the Bush ad, and which would be paid for by the Kerry staff;
    • an obligatory "super" posted at the end of the Bush ad, to the effect of, "See for a rebuttal to this ad";
    • no rebuttal at all.

    The choice would belong to the Kerry camp; they could handle it any way they want.

    They would turn in their choice to the same independent office at the FEC, who would ensure that the final ad (or ads) would air to the satisfaction of both parties.

    Let me make it clear: this FEC person would have absolutely no authority to edit or cancel any ad. He would only be an intermediary. And either party would be free to say what they want, and to request a rebuttal to the other party's ad. No party would be required to pay for anything they didn't want to (other than minor editing to insert the aforementioned "super").

    This could also apply to the DNC/RNC ads, but I admit it does get a little trickier when you start talking about 527s like those Swift Boat jokers. Who responds to them? ACT? How do you decide?

    Just a thought.

    * I've mirrored the ads on my own web space so you can see the ads without giving those jokers any more hits on their own site.
  2. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Everybody involved would scream about the violation of their Freedom of Speech.
  3. mischief macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2001
    Santa Cruz Ca
    So far as I'm concerned, since Public officials have no access to Slander lawsuits they may as well have their freedom of speech regulated in exchange.
  4. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    A good idea in theory, but we've already seen they can get away with stuff like this. Makes me sick, but I'm glad people are saying they do not like these. Unless you are hardcore Bush support/Kerry hater, they are becoming less effective. True, it does give fuel to the fire (unreasonably, I might add), but such is the price for a free society with freedom of the press and information. It is up to the viewer to decide if what they see it true or not and whether people will put up with the misleading or inaccurate.

    I do not like the ads, though, at all. I'm not sure if these are the same ones I've been seeing lately, don't even want to bother checking (sorry). But if it's what I've been seeing on TV, I think it's awful that they can equate someone who fought for this country, then came back to protest the horrors of it in support of his fellow troops, as a traitor who is (in)directly helping the enemy by showing dissent. Especially considering his opponent is a guy who's Daddy got him a cushy out and he didn't even bother going to that.

    This country was founded on the idea that you can love the country, but speak out against the government if you feel they are doing something wrong. This is not a dictatorship. That is what Kerry fought for, freedom. What is the use of fighting, if when he comes back he cannot speak freely about what he believes? Especially if the reasons for going to war are not just. <ahem> Kinda like nowadays. I'd say that makes him more qualified to lead, since he knows the risks and consequences. And will look carefully at the facts before making such important decisions.

    And understands that if someone disagrees or presents contrary information (especially if it is accurate), maybe it's ok to change your mind about something if you might have been wrong before.
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