A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Fear and False Claims

A widely-seen ad pushes a White House-backed bill that would make it easier for the government to wiretap Americans. It also would give retroactive legal immunity to telecom companies that cooperated with Bush’s secret, post-9/11 warrantless wiretapping program. Sponsored by Defense of Democracies, a group with GOP connections, the ad takes the House to task for not passing the bill, as the Senate has. The ad appeals to fear, with its image of Osama bin Laden and similar ploys. But we find that it also makes several misleading claims.