POLITICS
08/07/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Networks Helped Spread McCain's False "Troops" Ad

The number of times Senator John McCain's new advertisement attacking Senator Barack Obama for canceling a visit with wounded troops in Germany last week has been shown fully or partly on local, national and cable newscasts: well into the hundreds.

The number of times that spot actually, truly ran as a paid commercial: roughly a dozen.

Result for Mr. McCain: a public relations coup that allowed him to show his toughest campaign advertisement of the year -- one widely panned as misleading -- to millions of people, largely free, through television news media hungry for political news with arresting visual imagery.

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