Advertisement

Campaign Advertising

November 15, 1988

No one, I believe, will deny that this political campaign has been the most detestable, embarrassing one we have ever experienced.

Radio, TV, print and the U.S. mail were all being used without pity to convince us that yes means no; up means down and that convoluted thinking is what we want presented to us. So that if we want more police we should vote for oil drilling on the coast; and if we didn't want a reign of terror with gangs hijacking trucks all over the place we'd best vote against a tobacco tax. And the wild statements made regarding the insurance initiatives were so arrogant, so misleading, so downright fraudulent that had they been made in advertising a commercial product they would have been actionable, if not downright criminal.

I cringed when I heard people earnestly and well-meaning exhorting everyone to vote. Vote based on what? A mass of cheating, untruthful, slanted audio or visual bytes? Not everyone has the time or desire to dig deep to the information that is available in The Times or other papers with the expenditure of a certain amount of effort. Today time is in short supply.

Very likely it would be an infringement of the First Amendment to the Constitution if it was required that a political ad be subject to any review. Good enough. But it seems that we've come to the point where the voter needs more help. Must have help.

I can envision a respected organization, such as the League of Women Voters, which might provide an impartial panel of people who could spend the time and effort to dig out the facts. Then the campaign managers could submit their ads voluntarily to this panel and if the panel found them truthful and not misleading in these respects they could endorse the ads. Something like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Those campaign managers who wouldn't like their ads scrutinized wouldn't submit their ads and they could run without the endorsement. I personally would appreciate something like this and would be willing to donate a small amount for this service.

CHARLES C. BAKER

Tujunga

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|