AD WATCH | Evaluating the Accuracy of Political Advertising
Kerry Ads Target Women, Environment
Candidate: John F. Kerry
Images: Split screen of the White House and a shuttered factory gate; an estate framed by palm trees; Supreme Court building; group of dark-suited men who look like judges; young boy drinking water; smoke-belching factory; oil rig in the wilderness.
Markets: New York, New Jersey, California, Wisconsin, Washington
Producer: Riverfront Media
Time: 30 seconds
Audio [Ad 1]: Under George Bush, 3 million Americans have lost their jobs. He's given huge tax breaks for the wealthy. And he's appointing far-right judges determined to take away our privacy. But you can change that.
[Ad 2]: The Supreme Court is just one vote away from outlawing a woman's right to choose. George Bush will appoint anti-choice, anti-privacy justices. But you can stop him.
[Ad 3]: George Bush let corporate polluters rewrite our environmental laws. He wants to roll back the Clean Air and Water Acts and drill in the Arctic wildlife refuge. But you can stop him.
Analysis: These targeted ads, which end with fundraising pitches, are built around hot-button issues of particular appeal to women.
It is an overstatement to say the Supreme Court is "one vote away" from outlawing abortion, since six justices have voted in some form to uphold Roe v. Wade and none has talked about outlawing abortion. A ruling that overturned Roe, however, would clear the way for state legislatures to ban abortion. Bush has said that his goal is an abortion ban but that the country is not ready to support such a step.
As for "far-right judges" – the ad does not explain how they would "take away our privacy"-the Senate has approved 173 of Bush's generally conservative nominees and blocked two by filibuster.
An administration task force met privately with industry executives while drafting its energy plan, but there is no evidence that they rewrote pollution laws. The president has exempted older power plants from installing anti-pollution equipment during upgrades but contends this would cut air pollution. He supports oil drilling in the Alaskan wilderness but has abandoned plans to reduce the number of protected streams and wetlands.
Bush has pushed through large tax breaks for the wealthy, but as part of packages that gave relief to middle-class taxpayers as well-relief that Kerry says he will continue.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company