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Political ads need regulation

August 21, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

If the Coca-Cola Corporation were to create an ad campaign in which they claimed that drinking Pepsi would cause AIDS, leprosy, and slow death, no print or broadcast media outlet would run the ads because they are so outrageously baseless and false.

Why, then, do these same outlets run ads by political campaigns in which the same level of phony claims are made about opposing candidates?

Even ads promoting "male enhancement" supplements have to carry a disclaimer that the product hasn't been shown to cure anything and is not approved by the FDA.

It would be nice if there were regulations requiring a fact-check on political ads, but, of course, that would be government intrusion on our constitutional rights to be blatant liars. The Supreme Court has made it clear that "free speech" doesn't have to be true.

It would be asking too much of the media to fact-check these ads on their own before running them. After all, they're making a pile of money on these ads, not to mention the pile they're making on the ads the other party has to run refuting the lies. By today's standards, it would be un-American to let doing the right thing interfere with making a profit.

I thought prostitution was illegal in most states.

Jay Light

Fort Myers Beach



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