Biggest Loser This Election? The Truth

Inaccurate ads abound, despite fact-checking
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2012 2:16 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Central Campus High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Maybe George Washington couldn’t tell a lie, but today’s candidates sure can. Among the latest “facts” in campaign advertising: Bain Capital’s merger of a steel mill ensured that a woman would die of cancer, and President Obama plans to gut work requirements from welfare. Despite the rise of fact-checking groups—which dismissed both claims—political ads continue to spew inaccuracies and influence voters, reports the Los Angeles Times.

"We're in a new phase: Fact-checking alone is not enough," says a journalism professor. "The campaigns seem able to override it." Some lies are deliberate, of course, and successfully attract media attention. "Absolutely," says Paul Begala, a Democratic consultant. "We're provocateurs." Not all lies are created equal, though: Romney's comments have been ranked Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire by Politifact 46% of the time, versus 29% for President Obama, reports Mediaite. (Read more fact checking stories.)

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