Moyers & Company: Decoding the Campaigns (Enhanced DVD)
It starts with attack advertisements that are loosely based on facts and more likely to be created from innuendo that has little to do with the truth. Bill Moyers interviews Kathleen Hall Jamieson who runs FactCheck.org. This organization takes a hard look at the false advertising that occurs during political campaigns and reports on the facts as opposed to the misstatements being made. One of the modern issues that face all candidates is the character attacks made by PAC sponsors, which operate outside of the political party system. Billionaires and super PACs are the money drivers that have exerted more influence in recent campaigns. Journalists do not have sufficient media influence to correct inaccurate privately sponsored ad campaigns. The PACs buy the ads and say whatever they like. The more money spent on the ads, the more impactful they become. Truth behind the message is not of significance, only repetition of the message is necessary for it to have a serious impact. Repetition of PAC-sponsored advertisements is simply a matter of having enough money to pay for the ads. Some stations refuse to run the ads, but it is not their job to ferret out the truth, so most stations run the ads without any difficulty. President Obama both condemned the Super-PACs, while at the same time encouraged his supporters to fund them. That is the duplicitous nature of politicians and no one seems to be immune to such behavior. The problem with these PAC ad campaigns is they focus on over-the-top rhetoric, which is inflammatory and at the same time irresponsible. In the Republican primary, the candidates are allowing the Republican base to generate the party position, rather than taking a personal position of their own. This has become the politics of wimpy pandering to the constituents, instead of agenda setting from a position of strong leadership.