Presidential election ads hitting new lows

May 25, 2004 at 8:44 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- Political analysts say the frequency and extent of distortions in ads for the U.S. presidential election have hit new lows.

Brooks Jackson, director of, an Annenberg Public Policy Center Web site that analyzes political ads, says this year's ads are crass plays for a gullible public, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

"It's beyond subliminal -- it's something else I haven't come up with a name for," Jackson said.

"Even people who don't think there is much information in these ads and say they don't learn anything from them tell us they believe factoids they could only have gotten from these ads, and they're wrong."

Among the lies Jackson's group found from each campaign:

-- Bush's campaign claiming Kerry would raise taxes by at least $900 billion in his first 100 days in office. Kerry has no such plan.

-- Kerry's campaign claiming Bush said "sending jobs overseas makes sense for America." Bush never said that.

Similar distortions were found in the ads run by independent groups supporting each candidate, Jackson said.

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