You are hereSalon: Never believe a political ad

Salon: Never believe a political ad


The rise of big-money opinion launderers in politics makes distrust the rational response to everything 

-By Dan Gilmour

October 4, 2010- I have a suggestion for anyone who sees a political advertisement in the next month before Election Day. Assume it's nothing but lies.

You should assume the falsehood of these messages because at least some of the people aiming them at you are too dishonorable to tell you where they got their money. They are opinion launderers. They are poisoning what's left of the American political system.

Assuming the falsehood of all political advertising is the only short-term defense we can mount against this 21st century media plague: the onslaught of ads run by groups that have serious-sounding names but are often funded by unnamed people and corporations that want to tilt elections to their own ends.

Opinion laundering isn't new. It's been practiced by wealthy individuals and companies for years; read the New Yorker's recent piece on the Koch brothers, the billionaire right-wingers who are "waging a war against Obama."

Sometimes the rich and powerful do this in jaw-droppingly stupid ways, such as the 2001 case when Microsoft orchestrated a "grass-roots" letter-writing campaign to drum up support for its monopolistic excesses, a move that backfired when some letters to state officials were sent over the signatures of dead people. (I had some fun with that in the newspaper column I was writing at the time, asking readers for some more creative dead people than the ones Microsoft had used; my favorite was this quote from Buddha: "An OS is able if Microsoft releases it.")

What's going on now is the opposite of humorous. It's dangerous.

FULL STORY HERE:

Partners

Backbone Campaign
ReclaimDemocracy.org
ProsperityAgenda.us
Liberty Tree
Democrats.com
Progressive Democrats of America
AfterDowningStreet
Peoples Email Network
Justice Through Music
ePluribusMedia
Locust Fork Journal
Berkeley Fellowship UU\'s Social Justice Committee
BuzzFlash
The Smirking Chimp
Progressive Democrats Sonoma County
BanksterUSA
Center for Media and Democracy
Chelsea Neighbors United
Atlanta Progressive News
Yes Men
No Nukes North
ProsecuteThemNow.com