Junk Food

In this update: 1. Do TV stations owe their viewers anything? 2. Freedom we have and democracy we don't 3. Donor database updated Junk Food

Email date: 10/4/12

In this update:
1. Do TV stations owe their viewers anything?
2. Freedom we have and democracy we don’t
3. Donor database updated

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Do TV stations owe their viewers anything?
Talk about your junk food diets. In the important political battleground of Colorado, where the first presidential debate was held last night, TV viewers are seeing 162 minutes of political ads for every minute of news dealing with the truthfulness of the claims made in the advertising.

Given the sad fact that most political advertising is misleading at best and often downright untruthful, this begs certain questions: Do TV stations owe it to their audience to refuse to air political ads that make false claims? Do they at least have a duty to fact-check the ads and give their viewers the truth?

Right now, most of them are doing neither.

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Freedom we have and democracy we don’t
After kicking off our drive to end legal bribery three weeks ago with media events in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Madison, WDC staffers fanned out across the state giving 16 presentations in nine different counties and doing frequent media interviews about the new campaign. At least a half dozen more talks on the subject will be given at public events before October ends.

We don’t take for granted the freedom we have to openly condemn corrupt practices and publicly organize support for reform. At the same time, we can’t help but notice that while our society is free it also is increasingly undemocratic. The latest post on our Big Money Blog explores this paradox.

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Donor database updated
Last week we updated our searchable online database of contributors to state campaigns, adding more than 18,700 new records of donations. Check it out.