Buying reality

In the next wave of the war on reality, several networks are refusing to air an ad created by the non-partisan vet's group, Operation Truth. The powerful ad features a wounded Iraq War veteran, Robert Acosta, challenging the government's rationale for the war culminating in a close-up of his missing right hand.


The networks all cite "advocacy" as their reason for not showing it despite the fact that it speaks directly to the arguments made to justify the invasion, makes verifiable claims, and advocates for no candidate. One of the networks, the History Channel, had even broadcast a Swift Boat ad. The overwhelming reaction to those ads, they said, was the very reason they refuse to air Op Truth's ad.

Lost in this sober-sounding argument are the facts. If you perceive the Swift Boaters and the Op Truthers as mirror image partisans then yes, there might have been a case to be made for refusing this ad – although airing one and not the other would still have been partisan.

But they are not mirror images. The Swift Boat ads were debunked as lies very quickly. Angry viewers may well have been Democrats and liberals but they were challenging the facts presented in the ad. Everything in the Operation Truth ad is true, it's just filled with painful truths. Or as one OT member put it:

The disinformation did not start without complicity, the American people willingly suspended their common sense in order to feel comforted by the idea that a violent response to violence would make us safer. To get beyond this, will require a confrontation of our own self-delusion about what Americans are.

Posted by Evan on October 29, 2004 @ 11:33AM

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