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Reality Check Shows How Truth Can Be Twisted

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Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a press conference July 13, 2006, at the Statehouse in Boston, addressing problems with the "Big Dig." (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a press conference July 13, 2006, at the Statehouse in Boston, addressing problems with the “Big Dig.” (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

Shaun Boyd’s most recent Reality Check showed exactly why political ads can be such a tricky source for voters this year.

The latest Reality Check segment examines the two ads that are currently dueling on the airwaves in Colorado.

An ad from the Romney campaign makes a variety of claims about his role in boosting the economy during his tenure in Massachusetts.

LINK: Watch Reality Check

A competing ad from the Obama campaign makes a variety of claims about Romney driving the Massachusetts economy into the ground.

What Shaun Boyd found was that while both ads make very different points with the facts, many of the facts both ads use are true.

It is in the spin and the story you don’t hear in each thirty second ad that makes the real difference.

What Shaun’s Reality Check segment showed in a very clear way is that creators of political ads do not need to directly lie in order to twist the facts. Like statistics, political records can be made to say just about anything you want them to say with just a few minor tweaks.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were not for the effectiveness of thirty second ads in campaigns. The money spent on the production and broadcast of said ads show that voters are truly influenced by them and make their decisions based on them.

With the effectiveness of the ads not in doubt, how quickly they can twist actual facts to say two totally different things is frankly a bit scary.

The reason it is scary is because there are not enough people in the media who can keep up with the plethora of ads that are produced to show the real story behind each ad. That problem is exacerbated to the power of ten when you begin to consider ads from 527 groups.

Without that kind of analysis of each ad, voters are simply left to try to decipher which campaign is telling the truth. But as we know, they both are, in their own creative way.

The lesson to take away from all of this is that even when we are told the truth by political campaigns, it may still not be the whole truth. The only real way to be an informed voter is to not rely on the thirty seconds ads and dig as deep as we can on our own.

But let’s face it, that is much easier said than done. Sometimes, the truth hurts.

About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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