January 4, 2016

Donald Trump's scary television ad is an incredible mixture of fiction and horror movie. Featuring throngs of people pushing through a border, the voice-over features the ubiquitous scary voice talking about Mexicans pushing their way into the United States.

Politifact gives it a "pants on fire" rating, which is the default for all things Trump.

About halfway through the ad, a narrator says of Trump, "He'll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for." Video footage shows dozens of people streaming across the border, as if they were ants fleeing an anthill.

The clear suggestion is that the footage is of the "southern border" between the United States and Mexico. But it’s not -- it’s 5,000 miles away, in a small Spanish enclave on the mainland of Morocco.

PolitiFact was able to trace the footage back to the Italian television network RepubblicaTV. On May 3, 2014, the network posted footage of Moroccans crossing the border into Melilla, one of two enclaves on the Moroccan coast that are held by Spain. Migrants who cross the border there are essentially entering territory held by a European Union nation, even though they are still on the African continent. (It can also be seen posted by a YouTube user here.)

Now the thing is, there's no evidence yet of any ad buys in Iowa or New Hampshire with this ad, so it's possible this is all a scam to get some free attention out here on the Internets rather than actually paying to air it on television. But on the off chance they score some ad time somewhere like Newsmax TV or One America network, I decided to highlight it anyway.

Blue Nation Review observes that the whole ad is a little like a South Park episode.

Trump’s latest ad manages to hit all the major talking points of his campaign in a scant 30 seconds: radical Islam, Mexico, etcetera. Like the rest of the things Trump has said and done, the ad is an optical illusion. Look at it right-side up, and his campaign represents the terrifying rise of a demagogue fueled by xenophobia, racism, and sexism. Look at it upside down, and it’s an American satire, one that South Park might dream up to make fun of conservatives, with Trump as either a masterful troll or a hopeless buffoon.

If only he wasn't leading the Republican pack. Of course, no votes have been cast yet, and it's possible that after an Iowa and New Hampshire loss to Ted Cruz, he'll toss in the towel and admit he was just paving the way for him.

Time will tell.

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