Are you frustrated yet this election year? It seems like the information overload... some of it true, some of it not... is as aggressive as it's ever been.
In recent months, we've heard it all... people have questioned everything Barack Obama's religious beliefs to John McCain's military service. The internet accusations are so prevalent Obama's campaign has set up a web site to address them. The campaign is now responding to a claim that Michelle obama used the word "Whitey" in a speech. The campaign says she did not. McCain called the allegations about his military service a "smear campaign."
We hear a lot about the "media" portraying candidates in a favorable or unfavorable light. We can't speak for our national journalistic brethren. But at WITN-TV, we work really hard to balance our coverage as fairly as possible. (You can check out blogs from the "Big Chair" about recent political coverage.)
With other sources, we have to guard against incorrect information and rumors being accepted and believed as correct. For example, bloggers write posts that appear to be the gospel truth. But a little research often uncovers the discrepancies.
There is no doubt... we are fortunate to live in a democracy. Elections often showcase America at its finest. But they can also spotlight America at its worst, as innuendo, speculation and rumors about candidates and their families are discussed and even accepted.
We certainly have to shine a bright light on our future leaders, to determine who they really are. But we need to do it fairly and accurately.