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'Tis the season to mute political ads -- Jeff Virchow

'Tis the season to mute political ads -- Jeff Virchow


Now is the season for an exponential increase in political ads in the media, especially on TV. These are the times when I’m grateful for the mute button on my remote.

I have reached the point where I refuse to listen to any political campaign ads, no matter which party they support. My sense is that most of them carry only the slightest scintilla of truth. The rest of the ad offers information taken out of context. It contains blatantly false statements or doctored video clips that suggest someone has said something they didn’t actually say.

The Federal Trade Commission regulations state that “When consumers see or hear an advertisement on the internet, radio, in print, on a billboard, on television or anywhere else, federal law says that the ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence.” The problem is this law doesn’t apply to political ads.

In fact, outright lies are protected by freedom of speech. The only way to avoid being duped by duplicitous political propaganda is to be diligent in doing research on each candidate to determine what, precisely, they stand for. When more people commit to doing that, perhaps we’ll have more honest people in office.

Jeff Virchow, Prairie du Sac

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