In an amazing development, experts at the University of No Place In Particular But Possibly Fort Kent have discovered that statements made in political advertisements are almost always bald-faced lies.
"We were stunned," said Dr. Poovis Klimflux, the lead researcher on the study, "Some of them slanted the truth while others were outright falsehoods. We found that virtually none came close to being honest."
Not all the claims Klimflux and his colleagues studied were blatant distortions. Some were more subtle than those TV spots that portray independent US Senate candidate Angus King as a close advisor to North Korean President Kim Jong-un.
The professor said a recent trend in phony campaign ads employs reverse psychology. In a perverse twist, voters are given negative information about a candidate, but in such a way that the claims make that politician seem more attractive.
For instance, in September, the Maine Republican Party sent flyers to homes of registered Democrats informing them that Democratic US Senate candidate Cynthia Dill is a "lemur."
Oops, sorry, that's actually a description of independent Senate hopeful Andrew Ian Dodge.
What the GOP said about Dill was that she's "Too Liberal for Maine." In bold typeface, the flyer charged that Dill is a "Tree-Hugging Environmentalist" and would be a "Rubber Stamp for Obama/ObamaCare." A follow-up mailer in early October stressed that Dill is opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.
These are probably the nicest things anybody's ever said about Dill.
The first flyer completely ignored GOP Senate candidate Charlie Summers. The second mentioned him only in passing (DNA test reveals no trace of lemur).
What Republicans were trying to do was fool left-wing voters considering casting ballots for King (who was recently forced to defend himself against charges he's a cannibal, a polygamist, and a close advisor to ex-Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine), into switching their support to Dill. It might have worked, too, except that soon after those flyers were mailed, Dill was endorsed by the Democrats' 2010 gubernatorial nominee, Libby ("Ol' 19 Percent") Mitchell, thereby scaring away every liberal worried that voting for Dill would help elect the Republican.
Speaking of whom, the national Democratic Party is running TV spots in Maine promoting its choice in the Senate race. Which turns out to be someone named "Anybody But Summers." Instead of praising Dill (suggested slogan: If You Liked Libby, You'll Find Cynthia Just As Good . . . Well, Nearly), who has no chance of winning, the Dems put their cash into attacking the GOP nominee. The ads are supposed to convince wavering liberals to vote for King (isn't it time he came clean about the wild parties at Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's pad?), because the Democrats figure he'll stand with them on most issues.
Meanwhile, the GOP and its allies are dumping money into TV, but almost none of it is going to promote Summers, because that would be too difficult a task (he's sorta conservative, sorta liberal, sorta moderate, sorta . . . aw, who cares). Instead, the spots repeat the point that Dill is a leftie (she supports voting rights for lemurs), while King has "changed" (he used to oppose cannibalism).
There's no mention of Summers, because when his attributes are carefully considered, there's not much worth mentioning.