(Folks, I rarely quote press releases like this, but the folks at FlackCheck.org, sister site of FactCheck.org, might have something brilliant here. They do have a great record of independent, nonpartisan factchecking. I’ll personally request your help with this, once it gets going.)
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2012
Contact: Kathleen Hall Jamieson. 215 898 9400 or firstname.lastname@example.org Jamieson is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FlackCheck.org Launches “Stand by Your Ad” to Fight Deception in Super PAC and Other Third Party Political Advertising
TV and radio stations are required to air political ads by candidates for such federal offices as the presidency even if their content is blatantly deceptive. Not so the messages of outside groups. Instead, broadcasters have the right to bar so called “third party”’ ads or insist on the accuracy of those they decide to air. Ohio stations did just that when a group called “Building a Better Ohio” offered Ohio TV stations a deceptive ad last October (To see the ad they rejected, go to
the FlackCheck.org website.).*
In the hope that local broadcasters around the country will follow the lead of these Ohio stations, APPC’s FlackCheck.org, the sister-site of the award-winning FactCheck.org, is calling on them to insist on the accuracy of ads by super PACs, the political parties and all of the other outside groups that arrive at their doorsteps with cash in hand. In service of this goal, the project urges those in local markets to applaud responsible station action and decry business- as -usual.
To assist station managers and viewers, FlackCheck.org’s “Media Watch” page is both flagging deceptive presidential ads in primary and caucus states and identifying the stations airing them. To make it easier for viewers to send words of encouragement or dismay to station managers, the FlackCheck.org “Stand By Your Ads” initiative provides them with the names of station managers, the e-mail addresses of stations and a sample letter that can be amended and
sent directly from the viewer’s account.
“We urge broadcasters to insist on the accuracy of the third party ads, not just for the presidency, but across the board,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. “We hope that stations will take the same care in screening out deceptions in the political ads of outside groups that they take in protecting their viewers from misleading product ads.”
To locate the FlackCheck.org “Stand By Your Ad” page click, http://www.flackcheck.org/stand-by-your-ad/ and then click on “Stations.”
If only we could find an effective way to leverage readers/viewers/advertisers to hold the media accountable for fact checking third party ads. In the last several Washington State elections, it has taken me hours to find out who is behind state referenda, and to unravel what is actually being proposed.
I have become an activist out of necessity. Politics worldwide has become a grim game of truth versus shameless and blatant propaganda machines run by PACs.