Smear Wars: Welcome to Negative Ad Season

Voters are being bombarded with negative ads. In the smear wars, accuracy is the first casualty

The McCain-Palin "Sex Education for Kids" television ad, left, and the Obama-Biden "Bridge to Nowhere" ad

Until he got that fax at the Synagogue, Ralph Cohen thought he knew where Barack Obama stood on Israel. The word around Century Village, a reliably liberal Florida retirement community in Pembroke Pines, was that Obama strongly supported the Jewish state. But the Sept. 23 anonymous document alleged something else: Obama had "surrounded himself with some of the most anti-Semitic friends and anti-Israel advisers."

Cohen did not know what to think. "I'm really confused because this is not the first time I have heard this rumor," he said that afternoon. "Obama doesn't really speak much about supporting Israel."

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