SPIN METER: Political ads stir health care horror

Associated Press
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FILE - In this April 12, 2011, file photo, Medicare Administrator Donald Berwick gestures during an interview with The Associated Press in Washington. People targeted by health care distortions say the attacks can accomplish two things: turning an individual into a pariah, and shutting down legitimate consideration of new ideas. Berwick, President Barack Obama's first Medicare chief, said he was never able to overcome the label of “rationer-in-chief” pinned on him by GOP critics of the health law, no matter how often he said he was against rationing. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats seem to be converging on a not-so-subtle message for their political ads on health care this election year:

The other side is going to throw granny off a cliff!

Expect health care ads to feature heavy doses of what each party alleges that the other party plans to do to wreck Medicare.

In fact, two ads now getting attention on the Internet actually do show grannies being tossed off cliffs.

In one, the villain is Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. The Republican budget writer is played by an actor. In the other ad, an actor is playing President Barack Obama.

Communications expert Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the University of Pennsylvania says both ads are examples of what she calls deceptive dramatization.

EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look behind the rhetoric in political campaigns.