8:43am

Mon October 1, 2012
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Burriss on Media: Attack Ads

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BURRISS)  --  Boy, am I ever dazed and confused. In just a few weeks we’ll be talking about how, in late October 1938, hundreds of thousands of people thought a radio dramatization about a Martian invasion of the earth was real. And a question has always been, how could these people be taken in like that? I mean, all they had to do was change the channel, and they would have had a pretty good clue that nothing serious was going on.

But then an even more frightening thought hit me about all of the campaign ads that have been coming at us fast and furious. Now I'm starting to wonder, how many people really believe all of the attack ads we have been seeing and hearing?

Everywhere you turn, people are saying this has been the worst campaign they can remember in terms of personal attacks. More than ever before, candidates seem to be avoiding the issues, and using their air time and newspaper space to attack personalities, rather than dealing with issues.

Even when ads do deal with the issues, we’ve gotten little, if any real information. We’ve seen lots of attacks on the other candidate, but precious little positive information about what the candidates will actually do.

And I hate to think people are listening, viewing and reading those ads, and then making their election decisions. And like the drama about the Martians, all they have to do is turn the channel or turn the page, and they will get a completely different view of reality.

No, what the voters should be doing, this year in particular, is studying the issues and paying attention to what the candidates say in the news and in the debates, rather than what they say in their ads.

Unfortunately, like every other issue, that takes time and effort. Time to really look at the ads, and effort to try to make sense of what they are seeing and reading.

Like "The War of the Worlds," the campaign ads this year are entertaining, but they have little, if any, basis in reality. And like entertainment, a little thought goes a long way in showing how absurd the claims are.

I'm Larry Burriss