Election coverage down to the wire

One of the many wonderful aspects of public television is the absence of commercial advertising … and that includes political advertising.

Instead of being bombarded with a steady barrage of broadcast ads — and with the message that “I’m Joe Politician and I approved this message” — public TV viewers get to assess for themselves all manner of public policy. They get it straight from the reporter, who then turns it over to you to decide what you think about the subject being discussed.

OK, I hadn’t yet mentioned that we have an election coming up in a few days — that is, until right now.

PBS is on the job reporting on the presidential election. Viewers can tune Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. on KACV-TV to watch the “PBS NewsHour.” This week, the News Hour’s pre-election coverage kicks into high gear, culminating Friday with a panel discussion featuring conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks and liberal syndicated columnist Mark Shields. They’ll handicap the contest and discuss the issues that separate President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Democratic and Republican principals, respectively, in this all-important presidential contest.

Then, at 7 p.m., “Washington Week in Review” airs on KACV-TV. This week’s show is likely to feature plenty of discussion for 30 minutes about Hurricane Sandy and the storm’s impact on the presidential contest. Host Gwen Ifill moderates an engaging panel discussion that includes some of the premier political pundits and reporters of the day.

Here’s a thought. If you’re just a bit weary of all the paid political ads being broadcast by the candidates asking for your vote, tune in to public television. You’ll get plenty of information — without the distortion.

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