Did Obama Fund Web-based Smear Campaign Targeting Palin?
Updated: YouTube videos being pulled, accounts canceled within an hour of the post going up? Sounds like we hit a nerve. I’m thinking this may just get good. Everything is cached. I know Rusty should have copies, so do I … everything – either screencapped or saved as web pages, or video files. I wonder who grew so concerned so quickly, hmm?
Given the facts turned up by The Jawa Report in this must read post, it seems fair to ask if the campaign of Barack Obama funded a malicious and deceptive web-based smear campaign against Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Governor Sarah Palin. Rusty’s post is substantive and extensive. I’ll provide a Cliff Notes version below. It’s important to keep in mind that this played out while the candidate, Obama himself was attacking Palin every day on the stump, such was the threat Obama perceived from her nomination.
A false and misleading video of professional quality attacking Palin was uploaded to the web from an account that appears to be linked to a high profile, primarily Democrat-linked media consulting firm – Winner and Associates.
The quality and perhaps even the voice-over talent used to produce that video seems to mirror that commonly used by David Axelrod in a number of official Obama ads. The firm this appears to go back to, LA-based Winner and Associates, includes one Ethan Winner as a VP. There’s good reason to believe it was his account through which the video was up-loaded to the Net.
Ethan Winner maintains a relatively low profile on Facebook. His account is blocked and numbers only 27 friends, several of them are family members. One notable exception is a Dr. David Washington. Various news accounts cite him as a senior adviser to Barack Obama.
Time: Feb 4, 2008 … Obama’s surge of celebrity backing turns the tables on the … elbow to elbow with everyone," said David Washington, a senior adviser to the campaign in California.
These and other attacks not only appeared on the web, they seem to have been subsequently affirmed, though false, and supported with requests to "send this around" by other ID’s associated with the firm.
From there they drove huge blog bursts on the Liberal side of the web and were picked up by the media for that reason. This process placed a series of lies, distortions and false allegations targeted at Palin in the mainstream news cycle – again, at the very same time Obama was attacking her daily on the stump.
Given the importance of Palin to Obama’s campaign at the time, connections cited here and others detailed in Rusty’s post, I’ll re-state what I said at top – it seems fair to ask if Obama funded or knowingly supported what amounts to the politics of personal destruction version Web 2.0 against Palin. It certainly cannot be ruled out off-handedly given Obama’s other thuggish tactics best left to the South-side of Chicago from where he recently sprang.
Politics aside, if this was the professional manipulation that it appears to be, it is not good for blogs, Left or Right. It undermines their credibility and makes them no better than a propaganda tool become smear merchant for whatever candidate they happen to support.