We're well past the 100-day mark until the election, and it seems every other ad on TV is either Romney or Obama with a negative message about the other.
Both candidates have been accused of distorting the facts (i.e. telling outright lies).
Courtesy of PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org, here are some recent examples …
For weeks the Obama campaign has been making a big deal about Romney's departure date from Bain Capital, a venture-capital firm he founded. Was it 1999 or 2001?
Why is it important? It seems the campaign would like to blame Romney for management decisions made after Feb. 11, 1999. Records show that Romney retained ownership and corporate titles after that date, but there's no evidence he made any decisions at Bain during this time. It is documented that Romney was working 12-hour days, six days a week, with the 2002 Winter Olympics committee.
Ironically, the Romney campaign claimed its candidate created as many as 100,000 jobs while at Bain, taking credit for hiring that happened after he left — during which, as was said before, there's no evidence he did any decision-making at Bain.
There's more: The Obama re-election campaign also made a false claim that Romney favored banning abortion in cases of rape or incest. And Romney has accused Obama of waging a war on women, which the campaign bases on job losses from a recession that started more than a year before the President took office. The Romney campaign also falsely stated in a TV ad that an inspector general found stimulus contracts "were steered to 'friends and family,' " when no such finding occurred. Then there's the "build it" comment. We won't even go there.
In a recent segment on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," comedian Lewis Black made some interesting observations that put this ugly politics-as-usual activity into a unique perspective.
Discussing the ads, Black says, "Are they allowed to lie? Yes."
He prefaces his comments with a recent class action lawsuit involving Nutella. For those unfamiliar with the product, Nutella is a "unique spread made from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa." The company is paying more than $3 million to settle a class-action lawsuit. Apparently, it had been misleading consumers into thinking it was a healthful food.
Seeing the ads, a San Diego mother thought Nutella would be a good breakfast staple for her 4-year-old daughter. When she realized otherwise, she found a law firm to file a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer.
Black made two points, which I agree with wholeheartedly.
He said no one deserves the money because, "anyone who believes melted chocolate nut cream is a healthy way to start the day is an idiot."
And, more importantly: "You need not be honest to be president, but if we're going to spread you on toast, you'd damn well better be telling the truth."
NBC's Olympic win
Starting last Monday with prime time, Olympic coverage — including the men's gymnastics team finals and Missy Franklin's 100-meter backstroke victory — averaged 31.6 million total viewers from 8 p.m. to 11:23 p.m., according to Nielsen. That was 4 percent more than that night four years ago in Beijing, which averaged 30.2 million.
According to a report in MediaLife, it was the most-watched first Monday of a non-U.S.-hosted Summer Olympics since 1976, and it marked the fourth straight night that the games drew 31 million viewers or more.
Through the first four nights, NBC's coverage averaged 34.8 million total viewers, the best for any Summer Games in history. It's even slightly ahead of the 1996 Games in Atlanta, which averaged 34.5 million in the first four nights.
According to SFLTV, a media blog covering South Florida, NBC numbers for opening ceremonies showed that here in Florida, Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV tied with Washington D.C. affiliate WRC for second place nationwide. Both stations had 26.8 ratings points and 48 share in their respective markets.
In the Southwest Florida market, Fort Myers tied with Austin, Texas, for 18th place with a 23.9/43 share rating. For Saturday, the first full day of competitions, Fort Myers ranked 5th while no other South Florida stations made it into the top 20.
ELVIS DURAN RE-UPS
Good news, Elvis Duran fans. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, recently announced an agreement with the nationally syndicated radio personality to renew and extend his relationship with the company, continuing as the star of the wildly successful "Elvis Duran and the Morning Show" on New York's Z100 and more than 40 other radio stations across the country, including Southwest Florida's 96.9 WINK FM.
The show is the most-listened-to Top 40 morning show in the U.S., and is syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks.
Until next time, Stay tuned!
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.