Political party conventions offer free air time for candidates, really. In an election like this one, so close (and yet so far), every minute counts. Or does it? Let’s analyze a little.
Item: Paul Ryan gets the crowd fired up and ready to go, but he gets his facts wrong. Progressive web sites start calling him “Lyin’ Ryan.”
False: President Obama didn’t save a General Motors plant in Wisconsin.
Truth: First, Obama wasn’t even in office when the GM plant closed.
False: President Obama ignored recommendations of a bipartisan debt commission.
Truth: Paul Ryan actually sat on that commission. And he led Republicans in voting down the commission’s own recommendation. So the commission never gave a report to Obama, because Ryan himself voted to kill the report before it could.
There were more conflicting statements in Ryan’s speeches. Keep an eye on the press. Move On Civic Action is sponsoring a petition asking members of the press to “…Fact-check and call out candidates when they lie. You have an obligation as journalists to educate the public on the facts of the major campaign issues.”
Item: Clint Eastwood talks to an empty chair.
- He gets mocked by slide shows all over the internet
- Clint manages to upstage Romney’s acceptance speech – during prime time, too
- Fans start wondering if he’s losing his marbles in his old age
- Obama has a simple response: This Seat is Taken.
That’s the trouble with free air time. Anything goes – almost. In the same vein as “Buyer Beware” let’s add “Listeners, look it up”. Check the facts. Check the sources. Voters, let’s not allow falsehoods like Ryan’s or oddball statements like Clint’s influence our votes.
After all, President Obama looks mighty nice in his chair. He belongs there.