It’s election time in the United States, so among other things that means video spin doctors are earning big bucks. As the CNN article “A look at South Carolina’s tough presidential campaign ads” points out, the authorization of “super PACs” in the United States which can legally receive UNLIMITED contributions from corporations, labor unions and individuals has changed the game for television and Internet-based video advertising. This series of YouTube-posted television ads from the pro-Gingrich super-PAC “Winning Our Future” is a case in point. The first video, “Obama’s Dream Debate | Part 1” might remind you of the iPad app “Puppet Pals.” The stakes in this case, however, are quite high. The presidency is on the line, and these super-PACs are pulling out all the stops money can buy to persuade a media-drenched population their candidate’s opposition is unworthy.

Winning Our Future | Pro Newt Gingrich Super PAC

I haven’t decided who I’m voting for this year for President, I’m ideologically aligned with many Rootstrikers and I don’t think any of our current Presidential candidates are. Whatever your personal political leanings might be, it’s an important time to discuss the election with U.S. students in our classrooms as well as media literacy. How do you know what to believe when you see something in the media or online? What authority do you trust? Why? How can you check the facts and weigh bias? Why do these questions matter?

Go forth, fellow educator… and teach both young and old to ask questions. Lots and lots of questions. Some of them will be good ones. No one is serving hemlock today at your school, thankfully. Bring forth your best efforts to encourage critical thinking. The future of our nation hangs in the balance.

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