Monday, September 10, 2012


The most regretable line from either convention was that uttered by a GOP official on one of the Sunday morning talk shows, when reporters pointed out certain factual differences between what veep candidate Paul Ryan had said and the truth.
Bet he'd like to take back his response.."we're not going to let the fact checkers determine our policies."  Unfortunately, probably true, just not to be uttered out loud. (And, I suspect, something a Democratic official might also have said, in his unguarded moment.)
I mean, why let the facts get in the way of a good ad, especially a good, negative ad?
Only because the parties have an obligation to talk sense, truthfully to the American people. There is room for disagreement over many important issues:  health care, foreign policy, taxes, the deficit, defense spending...reasonable people can disagree...but..that disagreement should not be over inaccuracies, but over the best course for America. Indeed, without the facts, disagreements over policies become meaningless.
I'm glad there are fact checkers. I'm glad the Herald-Leader has waded in already to a couple of major local issues, such as the big, fundamental disagreement between Ben Chandler and Andy Barr over medicare and health care. But where are the broadcast fact checkers, especially the tv ones? TV stations get the lions share of campaign dollars; they can afford to have someone on their news staffs spending time checking the accuracy of the ads they run. Indeed, I would argue they can't operate "in the public interest, convenience and necessity"--as the law requires--unless they do.
They might start with a very easy fact to check.  Barr is a Republican, I think.  Chandler is a Democrat, I think. I say "I think" because neither puts his party affiliation in their ads. Are they ashamed of their parties? Are they ashamed of being a member?  Are they afraid to tell the voters that? Do they not believe in party responsibility? All basic questions and easy for the stations to check.
If we have to wait til election day, and then find out under which party label Chandler and Barr fall, by then it may be too late.
Sic 'em, fact checkers!  Your role is vital.
(You might also ask them where they stand on some issues both conventions failed to touch on much..poverty, Afghanistan, Syria, foreign policy, etc..that is, if they are party members.)
 I'm just sayin'...

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