Just finished reading an interesting, and in my case, not surprising article about this year’s US election.
A new poll finds that 9 in 10 voters said that in the 2010 election they encountered information they believed was misleading or false, with 56% saying this occurred frequently. Fifty-four percent said that it had been more frequent than usual, while just three percent said it was less frequent than usual, according to the poll conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org, based at the University of Maryland, and Knowledge Networks.
Here’s some important findings;
• 40% of voters believed incorrectly that the TARP legislation was initiated under Barack Obama, rather than George Bush.
• 31% believed it was proven true that the US Chamber of Commerce spent large amounts of money it had raised from foreign sources to support Republican candidates.
• 54% believed that there were no tax cuts in the stimulus legislation.
• 86% assumed their taxes had gone up (38%) or stayed the same (48%), while only 10% were aware that their taxes had gone down since 2009.
• 53% thought that the bailout of GM and Chrysler occurred only under Obama, though it was initiated under Bush.
I’m not surprised by the findings. This has been going on for the last couple of election cycles. With the influx of conservative talk radio and “Faux” news becoming the dominant “news” outlet, information has the ability to get lost in transition.
The one way this practice can be stopped is by ordering the return of the “Fairness Doctrine”. Equal billing MUST be allowed on all news and opinionated talk shows, conservative or liberal. Accountability must be the norm.
How can this happen? By giving the Federal Communications Commission it’s teeth back. There have virtually no disciplinary measures made on television or radio station impropriety within the last 30 years (The last, WNEV in Boston, [now WHDH-TV] had their FCC licence taken away.).
Another is to pass legislation for full disclosure on what groups are funding advertisements. Since the Supreme Court struck down limits on election-related advertising, funding for campaigns ads have exploded, with over $220 million dollars on behalf of candidates.
Without equal billing and corporate accountability, elections will continue to be won by the highest bidder.
Joseph Goebbels must be smiling proudly from hell right about now!
 Source: “Ad Spending on Congress Races Soars to $220 Million.” Bloomberg.com; Sep 27, 2010