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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Big Union Blitzing Swing States With Obama Mailer

The mailer from the AFL-CIO, which is going out to four key states, seeks to dispel several false rumors about Obama, including that he doesn't show sufficient deference to the flag

The best anti-smear message that I've seen so far

One of the big challenges with defending Barack Obama -- or anyone else, for that matter -- against false, viral smears is that the last thing you want to do is to inadvertently reinforce the smear.

In late June, Professor Sam Wang, a neuroscientist at Princeton (mindgeek at Daily Kos), penned a New York Times op-ed describing how debunking falsehoods by repeating the falsehoods can in fact strengthen the original falsehood. Consequently, the best way to spread the truth is by leading with the truth to debunk the smear. For example, emphasize that "Barack Obama IS a Christian" instead of saying what he is not.

Today, Ben Smith posted a new mailer from AFL-CIO aimed at debunking several of the most prominent smears against Barack Obama, and it is by far the best effort I've seen during the entire campaign to combat the smears.

As you can see, instead of answering each smear in the negative, the mailer instead poses questions that can be answered positively. In this fashion, the flier is reinforcing who Barack Obama actually is instead of who Barack Obama is not..

pdf version of the mailer

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