Biggest Loser This Election? The Truth

Inaccurate ads abound, despite fact-checking
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2012 2:16 PM CDT
Biggest Loser This Election? The Truth
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Central Campus High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Maybe George Washington couldn’t tell a lie, but today’s candidates sure can. Among the latest “facts” in campaign advertising: Bain Capital’s merger of a steel mill ensured that a woman would die of cancer, and President Obama plans to gut work requirements from welfare. Despite the rise of fact-checking groups—which dismissed both claims—political ads continue to spew inaccuracies and influence voters, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"We're in a new phase: Fact-checking alone is not enough," says a journalism professor. "The campaigns seem able to override it." Some lies are deliberate, of course, and successfully attract media attention. "Absolutely," says Paul Begala, a Democratic consultant. "We're provocateurs." Not all lies are created equal, though: Romney's comments have been ranked Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire by Politifact 46% of the time, versus 29% for President Obama, reports Mediaite. (Read more fact checking stories.)

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