McCain, Obama, Kiddie sex-ed, and Lies
The controversy centers on an Illinois senate bill that Obama voted for, although he neither wrote it nor sponsored it. Googling around, one finds lots of stories criticizing McCain and explaining that the bill was merely intended to warn children against sexual predators. Obama is quoted, from an earlier round of the controversy, as saying that it was aimed at inappropriate touching.
Most of the reporters who repeated Obama's version as gospel do not seem to have actually bothered to read the bill, although it is readily available online. It contains, along with much else, the following language:
"Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K
(I believe the underlining and strikeouts show changes from the pre-existing law.)
If Obama thinks that AIDS is transmitted by touching, he has problems more serious than his views on sex education.
It's true that the bill also says all instruction is to be age appropriate. Precisely how one provides age appropriate instruction in the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV to kindergartners has not, so far as I know, been explained by either the Obama campaign or anyone else.
As I read the bill, the authors were trying to please everyone from the pro-abstinence right through the AIDS activists. They--and, to a lesser degree, state senators who voted for the bill, including Obama--are responsible for the result. It's entirely possible that Obama's description of what he thought the bill was about is true, but it is not an accurate description of what the bill actually said. I doubt Obama is in favor of explicit sex-ed for small children, which is what the McCain ad implies. But he did vote for the bill, and so is in a poor position to label a truthful description of what was in it as a lie.
We can expect each campaign to slant such material in the way that favors their candidate. But it would be nice if reporters actually bothered to check the facts before accepting one side of the argument and labelling the other a lie.