The man who produced the racist Willie Horton ad for Lee Atwater (allegedly) is back with a vengeance. He's taking his bigoted worldview and turning it against Muslims this time with a sick and twisted ad that attacks Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA).
McCarthy said the photo of Horton used in the ad was "every suburban mother's greatest fear."
The ad ominously warns that, “for centuries, Muslims built mosques where they won military victories. Now, they want to build a mosque at Ground Zero…It’s like the Japanese building at Pearl Harbor.” It goes on to say that the “Muslim cleric building the mosque believes America was partly responsible for 9/11, and is raising millions overseas from secret donors.” It then says, “Bruce Braley supports building a mosque at Ground Zero."
There are so many lies in this ad that it should never get by network fact-checkers. We've bought many a Blue America ad and we have to show documentation to prove our points or they will be rejected.
To be able to put out a misleading ad smearing a minority group like the one above, AFF turned to a dubious cast of “experts.” One of the organization’s key media strategists is Larry McCarthy, who is president of media firm McCarthy Marcus Hennings. “In 1988, McCarthy produced the infamous, racially tinged Willie Horton television ad” in the Dukakis-Bush race that helped tank the Dukakis campaign by ginning up racial animus against African-Americans.
AFF’s founder Nick Ryan confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) that McCarthy produced the ad. Ryan also told CPI that McCarthy “does a lot of ads for the fund.”
Unfortunately, AFF is far from a fringe organization. This special interest group using racially-charged ads has deep ties to the Republican establishment. Although it has scrubbed its official website of the details of its lecture series, a search through its web cache reveals that in recent months it has hosted such GOP heavyweights as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Iowa Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad.
Islamophobia is hot and heavy at FOX News and it didn't take long for McCarthy to jump into action.