August 21, 2008

Wow. After reading at HuffPo yesterday that a right wing smear group produced an ad so atrocious (and potentially illegal) that even FOX News wouldn't touch it, I knew it had to be bad. Boy, was I right. While discussing McCain's "housing problem" on Studio B Friday afternoon, FOX producers "accidentally" aired a William Ayers ad produced by a group called the America Issues Project. Putting the ad aside, notice how loaded (and laughable) the report is to begin with.

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Henneberg: The McCain campaign is more than happy to inject Tony Rezko back into this election cycle, as they did in an new ad this morning. Rekzo, as you may remember, is a guy who was convicted in June on corruption charges, separate from this housing deal with Obama. But Rezko, or his wife, helped buy the empty lot next to Obama's million dollar house in Chicago and then sold part of it back to him, and the McCain campaign put that in a new ad. Take a listen.

[Cue 30 seconds of the wrong ad]

Henneberg: This is not the right ad.

Smith: It's not the right ad, huh?

Henneberg: Well that wasn't exactly the right ad.

Smith: Well, it was an ad. C'mon, give us a's busy back here today.

Henneberg: It was an ad! [Laughter]


"This negative campaign ad is clearly express advocacy, and under a federal law passed in 2003, the Bi-Partisan Campaign Reform Act (known colloquially as McCain-Feingold), it cannot legally be paid for with corporate money, including those of a non-profit," said Laura MacCleery, deputy director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "The ad indisputably concerns an election, takes a position on the character and fitness for office of a candidate, and raises no legislative issue. Even this highly skeptical Supreme Court would turn up its noses at the foul odor emitted by this clear abuse of federal election law."

If the experts HuffPo spoke to are correct and the ad is indeed illegal, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I've never worked in television before so excuse me if I'm way off base here....but don't these clips have to be cued up from some sort of storage system? If FOX agreed not to touch it, why would they still have it on file. let alone within reach to "accidentally" air it? Somethings fishy here. Then again, we're talking about FOX News.

I wonder if the other networks are irresponsible enough to pick up on FOX's "mistake" and use it as an excuse to run the ad. I wonder if that was the idea all along.

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