Some communications professors from universities across the nation are taking issue with the way the McCain/Palin camp is putting out information.
As I write this, 138 professors, including a handful from the communications departments at N.C. State and UNC Chapel Hill, have signed an online statement criticizing the Republican presidential candidate's campaign for what it claims are distortions. Among other issues, the statement criticizes McCain's linking Democratic nominee Barack Obama to Bill Ayers, a 1960s domestic terrorist-turned-university professor. You may recall that Ayers is himself the subject of an online petition this campaign season and is enjoying the support of many of his academic colleagues.
The communications statement also charges the McCain camp with stoking "the fires of racism" for some controversial comments made by local Republican groups.
The statement does include a vague admonition to Obama's camp but does not mention specifics. It says in part:
"Both major campaigns have been criticized by fact-checking organizations for prevarications. We call on both campaigns to halt blatant misrepresentations of their opponent's positions.
It would be misleading, however, to imply that since "both sides do it," there is no qualitative difference worth noting. In recent weeks, the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin has engaged in such incendiary mendacity that we must speak out. The purposeful dissemination of messages that a communicator knows to be false and inflammatory is unethical. It is that simple."