Yahoo has a story about the campaign ads getting negative. Their example are instructive. A Democrat in Kansas has an ad claiming that the Republican favors a mosque in NY (He does not; the NYC mosque was not mentioned in this campaign until this ad). It is clearly a negative ad; just as clearly a lie. Another example is in Connecticut. The Democratic candidate for Senator has mentioned his service in Vietnam several times. The Republican ad points out that the guy did not serve in Vietnam - which the Democrat has since admitted. Yahoo claims this is a negative ad. It is not the most positive ad but what is a candidate to do when your opponent lies?
The similarity is that in both ads there were lies involved. In both cases it is the Democrat that is lying. Did the moron forget that he did not really serve in Vietnam? Or that the mosque is not an issue in Kansas?
We can all agree that purposely misrepresenting your opponent’s position is a negative ad or worse. Is that the same as pointing out that your opponent lied in his speech? (Not "misspoke"; lied.) This Yahoo writer seems to think so. Sounds like he is angling for a job at NPR.