Do you remember 15 years ago the Dateline NBC scandal, when the TV news program put an ignition device on a pickup truck in order to make it explode for a feature on faulty truck design?

NBC had acknowledged that in the demonstration it used “sparking devices,” or
tiny rockets, strapped to the bottom of one of the trucks, to insure that it
would ignite if its gas tank leaked. But the network did not reveal the presence
of the sparking devices.

This case provides an insight into television works, which, in turn, offers insight into the way politics works in America today.

Take it from an expert. Karl Rove, known as the architect of President George W.
Bush’s electoral victories, believes White House candidates John McCain and Barack
have gone too far in their attacks on each other.

Everything on TV is fake. The most mundane news creation, like a reporter sitting doing an interview, involves shooting the interview over the shoulder of the interviewer toward the guest, and then after the interview, the reporter restates his questions as the camera aims at his face – the guest having moved on with his life. It is a medium that, in order to create images of reality, depends on illusions – using special lighting and makeup, at a minimum.

“In case anyone was still wondering whether John McCain is running the
sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in history, today Karl Rove — the man who
held the previous record — said McCain’s ads have gone too far,” Obama spokesman
Tommy Vietor said in a statement.

Campaigns today are fought on the platform of TV, where falsehoods are used as tools to portray reality. Deliberately, they misrepresent the facts – lying, it’s called in the real world. As Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor was doing when he made the above statement. Because, at the same time that Rove said McCain had gone to far, he said:

…an ad by the Democratic presidential nominee and Illinois senator criticizing
McCain for not being e-mail savvy was unfair. “His war injuries keep him from being able to use a keyboard. He can’t type. You know, it’s like saying he can’t do jumping jacks,” Rove said of the Arizona senator and former U.S. prisoner of war in Vietnam.

This is how the campaigns do business. And they use the sniping over whose ads are deceptive as cover, it seems, to keep people from noticing the big lies – like Obama’s lies on ending the war in Iraq. The truth about what Rove said?

Rove said both campaigns were making a mistake by pushing the envelope with
their assaults. “They don’t need to attack each other in this way,” he said.
“They have legitimate points to make about each other.”

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