Lie in a TV Ad, Voters Will Believe You

Adam Clymer, formerly the New York Times Washington correspondent, is now the political director for the National Annenberg Election
. He writes in an editorial column that "Americans like to say they are not influenced by campaign commercials, but then many people plainly
believe the attack ads that President Bush and John Kerry
are hurling at each other. Even people who say they learn nothing from the
advertisements believe the claims made in them, the
University of Pennsylvania's National Annenberg Election
shows. At the same time, people are remarkably
unfamiliar with the candidates' true positions - the stuff
that hasn't been advertised much." This presidential election year TV advertising is more pervasive and probably more decisive than ever. Under the new rules in the post McCain-Feingold environment, it's not just fat-cat Republicans saturating the radio airwaves and the boob-tube. Using so-called 527 committees, wealthy Democratic contributors and new online groups are raising hundreds of millions for presidential campaign TV advertising. Viewer beware.