Koch Brothers Political Ads Highly Dishonest

PolitiFact has done an analysis of more than a dozen ads put out in various campaigns by Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers’ third-party organization that spends tens of millions of dollars to influence elections all over the country. Surprise, surprise, they conclude that those ads are highly dishonest.

For example: Back in 2010, Americans for Prosperity ran an anti-Obamacare ad in 18 congressional districts on the health care law that claimed women wouldn’t be able to get cancer screenings under the health care law. In the ad, a cancer survivor claimed, “A government panel that didn’t include cancer specialists says women shouldn’t receive mammograms until age 50,” and “If government takes over health care, recommendations like these could become the law for all kinds of diseases.”

This was easily debunked and earned a Pants on Fire. As we wrote at the time: “The task force did not say women shouldn’t receive mammograms until age 50. The task force did include experts on cancer screening. It did not factor in cost. The recommendations are not the new government guidelines (in fact, the government guidelines remained the same). In short, this is a bogus issue.”…

This trend — taking a claim that has some truth and pushing it one step too far — is also something we’ve seen in their ads targeting Senate candidates.

Of the thirteen commercials they looked at, only two managed to rise to the level of “half-truth.” The rest were all mostly false, false of “pants on fire” lies. This is not limited just to this organization, of course. Lots and lots of third-party groups do this kind of thing in what are called “issues ads.” The FEC makes an absolutely absurd distinction between a “campaign ad” (the ones that end with “I’m so and so and I approved this message”) and an “issue ad” (the kind that usually ends with “call so and so and tell them you don’t like this”).

We all know this is a fake distinction. When you see those issues ads, there isn’t a single person that doesn’t get that their sole purpose is to get you to vote for one candidate and against the other. “Sen. Balderdash likes to kick old ladies and drown kittens in acid. Call Sen. Balderdash and tell him that you don’t want him to kick old ladies and drown kittens in acid. Paid for by the Committee for Kindly Grandmothers and Cute Kittens.”

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  • spends tens of millions of dollars to influence elections

    Wait! Money influences elections!? Who’d’a thunk!?!?!

  • Kevin Kehres

    Yet another reason why I don’t watch the local TV stations. Plenty of Netflix, ESPN, HBO, etc. etc. etc. Or doing something more interesting than watching TV at all.

    But in general, I consider every political ad to be a lie. 100%.

  • local TV stations

    They still have television? Quaint!!!

  • Sure, some ads may take some liberities with the so-called “truth”, but Obamacare is bad. I heard that you can’t get cancer screenings under it!

  • sabrekgb

    Koch Brothers Political Ads Highly Dishonest

    Fixed that for you.

  • Meh. I am OK with these. So long as there is no blatant quid pro quo, I have been assured that our political system is without fault!! WITHOUT FAULT!! IT IS WORKING FINE!! LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!

  • lofgren

    So is Ed still playing the “George Soros is just as bad” card?

  • Michael Heath

    sabrekgb writes:

    Koch Brothers Political Ads Highly Dishonest

    Fixed that for you.

    I’ve seen no evidence Democrats and progressive special interest groups are as dishonest the Koch Brothers; not even close.

  • @lofgren:

    When exactly did Ed say that? I recall a blog post quite some time ago about how the Koch Bros. are often made out to be cartoonish super-villains and used as an excuse to discount anything their money has ever touched, much the way the right treats George Soros. He never said that the bad stuff they do isn’t bad, or that George Soros is 100% comparable all the time.

  • caseloweraz

    Looks like we’ll get the opportunity to see those ads. Yesterday came the news that Fox is acquiring our local stations KTVU and KICU. The former was running Fox Channel entertainment (which is not all bad, since it included Cosmos.) But now its new operation will be the property of Fox. The previous owner, Cox, will in turn get two TV stations in Boston and Memphis.

    Formally, the organizations involved are the Cox Media Group and Fox Television Inc. The swap must still be approved by regulators, but it was announced as a done deal on the air yesterday, as well as here..

    I predict our household will not be watching KTVU news as it used to — except perhaps to mock.