Hitler Debuts in a Republican Attack Ad
On Friday, Democrats and Republicans went to war over a new Bush reelection campaign ad that uses images of Adolph Hitler in bashing Democrat John Kerry. The Web video, e-mailed to 6 million Bush supporters Thursday evening, splices together clips of Al Gore, Howard Dean, Rep. Dick Gephardt, film director Michael Moore and Kerry. On two occasions in the 87-second-long “Webmercial,” Hitler is shown, speaking loudly in German. The fuhrer footage is overlaid with the words “sponsored by MoveOn.org” while the ad’s opening screen says “The Faces of John Kerry’s Democratic Party.”
MoveOn.org, a left-wing political fundraising group, immediately objected. “We never sponsored those [Hitler] ads, we didn’t condone them,” says Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn PAC. He says the Hitler clips originally appeared on the group’s Web site in January as part of the"Bush in 30 Seconds" contest as part of two of the 1,100 entries the organization received After learning that the offensive Hitler spots were on the site—and facing criticism for them—MoveOn.org removed the entries. The Hitler submissions were up for 10 days “during which they were seen by a couple hundred people, including apparently, a [Republican National Committee] researcher, who posted them on the RNC site,” says Pariser. The new Bush ad “is worse than the pot calling the kettle black. They’re certainly going to regret it—it looks like a vicious partisan attack.”
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