The television advertisement by the campaign team of Senator John McCain tries to portray Senator Obama as an individual whose values do not fall within the mainstream. To do this, the advertisement presents Mr. Obama’s beliefs on sex education in a distorted manner. One way this has been done is the reference to Mr. Obama’s support for a sex-education bill introduced in Illinois to claim that Mr. Obama prefers “comprehensive sex education” for students at the kindergarten level.
The campaign team’s interpretation is that Mr. Obama would like conventional sex education to be taught to 5-year olds (Rohter, para.8). This interpretation is clearly indicated when the interpreter asks, “learning about sex before learning to read?” (Rohter, para.2).
This is a misstatement of the bill’s purpose in that the bill proposed that the kindergarten students should only be taught how to recognize when they are being sexually abused and as Obama said, “exercise some possible protection against such abuse” (Rohter, para.7). The kindergarteners would therefore not be taught everything about sex issues. The more complicated issues like sexuality, intercourse and contraceptives would be taught at higher levels.
The advertisement also asserts that Mr. Obama has only one accomplishment in the field of education and that accomplishment was during the Illinois sex education bill, which did not even become a law. From the advertisement, Mr. Obama therefore does not have a strong policy or commitment towards education. This is another indication on how the advertisement distorts the position of Mr. Obama on matters of education. Apart from this bill, other achievements by Mr. Obama indicate his commitment towards education.
In the late 1990s, he helped in administering an education project in Chicago that was worth forty-nine US dollars (Rohter, para.10). In addition, he was also a sponsor in the measures that increased charter schools in Illinois and grants to summer school programs. According to Education Week magazine, he was considered by advocates of early childhood initiatives as innovative and progressive with regard to his promotion of early childhood education programs.
The article is an online version of the one printed on the New York Times newspaper. The New York Times can be trusted to provide truthful information and individually, I trust it. The simple fact that this source has a very good reputation for not spreading incorrect information plays a major role at shaping my view of it.
It is usually cited by various other sources thereby portraying its broad acceptance as a reputable source of information. For example in the article, “Is McCain unable to use a computer due to war injuries?” (FactCheck, para.18), interviews by The New York Times are quoted.
Although the author of the article may be biased and therefore provide biased information, he cites many sources of the information he uses to make his judgment. A reader of the article can therefore refer to the other sources to discredit or confirm the writer’s claims. Furthermore, the article is not an opinion but more of an examination of the subject matter using verifiable information.
FactCheck. “Is McCain Unable To Use a Computer Because of War Injuries?” FactCheck.org. 17 Sept. 2008. Web. 16 Feb. 2010.
Rohter, Larry. “Ad on Sex Education Distorts Obama Policy.” Check Point. The New York Tmes. 10 Sept. 2008. Web. 16 Feb. 2010.