“Swiftboat veterans for truth”. This ad hoc group is airing political ads, adds amplified a hundredfold by media re-broadcasting. The best information I have right now is that the ads are lies. So let’s say that 90% of the people who see the ad can see it’s a lie. That leaves 10% who believe it, and 10% is enough to swing a close election.
It’s like the criminal activity where the punishment is a small fine, which the criminal just considers “the cost of doing business”. In the case of false political ads, there’s no criminal sanctions–but there should be. I believe in free speech, but I don’t believe in the right to intentially false free speech that causes damage.
The law allows you you to libel a politician with impunity. I wonder if that’s a mistake.