Do politicians lie in their ads? Yes.
In How I Learned The Facts of Life, I devote some time to TV product commercials and tell you something you might not know: you can believe that the claims they make are valid, to a certain extent. (You’ll have to wait for the book to learn the “certain extent.”)
But political ads do not have a built-in fact-checking system, so…politicians will lie. And the worst of them will lie egregiously.
Just ran into this example on DailyKos:
The ad begins by claiming that Democrat John Hickenlooper “took millions in shadowy donations in the governor’s office,” with on-screen text calling them “secretive donation,” but there was nothing secret about them at all. Rather, as 9News’ Marshall Zelinger explained in a detailed fact-check, the website on which the contributions are publicly available is simply not user-friendly.
The narrator then claims that Hickenlooper paid for his defense against charges he’d violated state ethics rules by taking “$100,000 from a 9/11 recovery fund.” This, says the Hickenlooper campaign, is an outright lie: The money came from a 2003 federal bill that cut taxes and sent stimulus funds to the states.
It’s a problem. So, as a voter, the safest position to take when you see a political ad making charges against an opponent is…fact check it before you vote.