'Scare Tactics' Call For Scary Music

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/130382208/130395064" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Following on the report earlier this week from NPR's Peter Overby about how hard it can be to figure out who's really paying for some of the political ads now on TV, Morning Edition has talked with our friend Bill Adair of PolitiFact.com about more of the unfair claims being made these days in those TV spots.

As Bill tells ME co-host Steve Inskeep, "independent" groups that favor Democrats and groups that favor Republicans are both guilty of taking "liberties" with the truth and of not telling the whole story about where they're getting their money:

Both Sides Do It


  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/130382208/130382684" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Both Sides Do It

Bill and Steve also talked about one ad from an offshoot of the Karl Rove-founded conservative group American Crossroads.

An image from ad by Crossroads GPS, attacking Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA.

"Barely true." PolitiFact.com hide caption

itoggle caption PolitiFact.com

It takes aim at Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, for allegedly voting to cut Medicare benefits by $500 billion. PolitiFact has given the ad a "barely true" rating because it "leaves out important facts that undermine most of its claims."

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/130382208/130382687" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Scary Music For Scary Charges

Steve notes that the ad uses some rather scary sounding music, which sounds much like the theme from the movie Halloween. As Bill points out, the music fits because Crossroads is using a "scare tactic" in its pitch:


Here's the ad itself:

NPR and PolitiFact have teamed up this campaign season on The Message Machine — a project to fact-check what candidates and interest groups are saying in their ads and other methods of communication.

More from Steve and Bill's conversation is on Thursday's Morning Edition. You can find an NPR station that broadcasts and/or streams the show by clicking here.

Contributing: Lindsay Totty and Jordana Hochman of Morning Edition.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.