Deciphering Fact from Fiction in Political Ads

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Associated Press

You've seen the television ads, the political ones that dominated the airwaves in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 10 statewide primaries.

Many, if not all, of those ads were hard-hitting. Some were personnel. How much of these told the truth, how many stretched it, and which ones were outright lies?

One would have to do a great deal of research to determine the authenticity of each political ad, but let's take the ongoing battle for the U.S. Senate between Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Richard Blumenthal

In one of her ads, McMahon chides Blumenthal for going to a fund-raiser in Canada and accepted PAC money. 

This, says the ad, is after Blumenthal said in a television interview that he would not accept PAC money. So McMahon's ad does have some elements of truth in it.

But Blumenthal says the McMahon ad is misleading.  During the interview when he said that he had not taken PAC money was only about his campaigns for attorney general, he said. 

To compete with McMahon's $50 million that he says  she'll be spending on her campaign, he said he needs campaign contributions.

Blumenthal, on the other hand, has an ad out that says he's been a fighter for the people in his role as attorney general. He says he's taken on the big corporations -- the tobacco industry as an example -- and brought hundreds of millions of dollars into Connecticut because of the lawsuits he's brought against these corporations.

Critics say that ad is misleading because, as they put it, many of Blumenthal's lawsuits have been frivilous and the sheer number of these lawsuits has painted Connecticut as an anti-business state.

So as this campaign season moves on and the television ads ratchet up again,you can take virtually all of these ads with a grain of salt.  Either that, or do your own research.

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