A consistently bright spot in any presidential election is the negative print and broadcast ads. Attacking an opponent’s performance and proposed policies is wholly appropriate. I wish there were more. But many attack ads are so toxic, so distorted that they’ve become an art form of their own noxious kind. A valuable corrective to political bullshit is the nonprofit, nonpartisan factcheck.org.
God, I hate presidential election years. Ignore my general lack of success at picking a winner or tossing the rascals out, but the seemingly endless “silly season” doesn’t begin to describe the quadrennial misery. And I’m not even talking about the TV campaign ads.
First, some facts. Advertising supports most newspapers. Advertising in daily papers is slipping dangerously. Now, some thoughts. Dailies have been dying for decades, and the situation is similar for weeklies and "local" radio stations.
A tenet of ethical reporting is to verify information not personally known to the reporter. That's true even if -- especially if -- a public official, a public figure or a syndicated columnist makes a claim of public concern.