Nothing funny about fake press release

Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., does not support the proposed Tax and Spending Control constitutional amendment.

We just wanted to make that clear, because we're sure that a misguided April Fools' prank by his GOP gubernatorial primary opponent, state Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, has some people believing otherwise.

The fake press release contained quotes attributed to Gibbons supporting the amendment proposed by Beers, which would require a vote of the people to raise any tax or fee in Nevada.

The Beers camp maintains the news release was outrageous enough to alert any news media, and that they should have picked up on the prank because it was sent on April Fools' Day.

And at the end of the release was a statement saying it was "Paid for by the Committee to Elect Bob Beers (and not by the taxpayers)."

But the Beers campaign was wrong.

The press release ran on a Reno television station as being legitimate.

And despite whatever retraction that TV station did in the following days, there are people out there who saw only the original story. Some of them told their friends, who told other people. And by now it's likely there are a lot of people who think Gibbons has changed his position on the amendment.

The Gibbons camp acknowledges it was apparent to them that it was a prank, but rightfully questioned the judgment of issuing such a press release.

And we do, too.

This is an age when it's hard enough to get straight, unbiased information on candidates. Even in legitimate appearances and press releases, candidates are misstating the views and records of their opponents.

Beers' fake press release only added to that troubling trend, and that's not funny.


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