I wish that all the partisan pundits who have made multiple proclamations on TV and radio about what will happen on election day, and turn out to be wrong, were banned from making any media appearances for five years. I’m not talking about pollsters sharing data or journalists reporting on actual information. I’m referring to those talking heads networks and local stations use to fill time in panel discussions or similar circle jerks on the air, from newspaper columnists to radio talk-show hosts to the “consultants” media outlets make deals with who are nothing but political hacks, some still employed by a party or candidate, or some who blew it so badly last time that no one else would hire them (e.g. Steve Schmidt, the genius who ran John McCain’s 2008 campaign, chose Sarah Palin as the running mate, and now does lousy analysis for MSNBC). They are hardly objective, and rarely right, so when they blow it, fire them and lose their phone numbers!
[Update 11/7/12 7:59am…here’s a graphic showing which pundits called the presidential race so wrong they should be banned from ever making a public prediction again]
I wish that all campaign ads had to be submitted to a Truth Clearinghouse before being allowed on the air. When a candidate makes claims about their opponent that are blatantly false or mostly misleading, media outlets aren’t allowed to refuse or censor them, but someone should have that power. I don’t know exactly who would make those decisions, but I’d nominate Bill Adair and his team at Politifact to handle the national races, and then find non-partisan journalists and professors of political science to look into the statewide and local ones. We’ll never get rid of all the negative campaign commercials, but the Truth Clearinghouse would help clean up some of the garbage spewed on the airwaves, at least.
I wish that losing candidates in local races had to go through their entire precinct and remove every campaign sign put up by either side. Not their staff, not their volunteers, not their campaign advisers — the candidates themselves have to pull up stakes on every median or lawn, and they have to do it before election week is over, or face a substantial fine.