Monday, October 11, 2004

Another letter, from someone who should know better 

The local paper carries a letter today complaining about the St. Cloud Times' coverage of two political ads. The letter is written by an economics professor at a nearby university. He thinks the criticism of challenger Patty Wetterling's ad (video here) is unfair.

Either people at the Times are capable of talking at a remarkably fast rate, or they have unrealistic expectations of the content that can be included in a 30-second political ad.

Further, Patty Wetterling states clearly in her ad that you can learn more about her positions at her Web site.

The ad, criticized by the Times for "skimping on substance", is the sort of getting-to-know-her type of ad a challenger new to politics would run. But Wetterling is not an unknown. Advertising that she cares about children in this district is like advertising that Barry Bonds has hit a few home runs. She has the children's resume down cold. You would think she'd want to broaden her appeal.

The letter then chides the newspaper for not reporting inaccuracies in Kennedy's ads.

Kennedy states that he somehow single-handedly created 1.7 million jobs.

Yet a Sept. 26 Times article stated that there are 1 million fewer jobs now than when Kennedy took office.

In the more recent article, the Times buried this fact at the very end.

In my mind, blatantly misrepresenting one's record is a bigger sin than failing to include an encyclopedic discussion on one's agenda in a half-minute campaign ad.

I'm not sure which ad the writer saw, because Kennedy has nine. The one I think the writer refers to has a line which says "I worked hard to help create jobs", while the graphic underneath flashes "1.7 million new jobs". To say that is "single-handedly" creating jobs is a real stretch and a sign of the letterwriter's folly. Go watch that ad (from the link above, click "Create Jobs"), and tell me what you see.

And then to assail the Times, hardly a friend of Kennedy's, for blatant misrepresentation is simply stupid.