SPARTANBURG, SC (Talon News) — Liberal political group MoveOn.org, still feeling the heat for posting on their Web site political attack ads comparing President George W. Bush with Nazi German leader Adolf Hitler, has responded to the criticism by blaming the media frenzy on the Republican National Committee.
In an email to supporters on Tuesday, MoveOn.org lamented that they have now “come under attack from the Republican National Committee.”
The email stated the RNC “has launched a campaign of malicious misinformation to divert attention from the creativity and power of the Bush in 30 Seconds contest.”
The email continued, “We need your help to make sure the media don’t fall for it.”
MoveOn.org claims that RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie has led an all-out “smear campaign” against them in reaction to the ads posted on their Web site comparing Bush to Hitler.
But MoveOn.org said those ads were not produced by them and anything to the contrary “is a lie.”
Talon News reported extensively on the details of the Hitler ads on Tuesday.
In a press release, MoveOn.org founder Wes Boyd said they “deeply regret that [these ads] slipped through our screening process” and promised to use “a more effective filtering system” for future contests.
Nevertheless, although MoveOn.org denounced the two ads, the group refused to take responsibility for the ads being posted by them on their contest Web site.
“None of these was our ad, nor did their appearance constitute endorsement or sponsorship by MoveOn.org Voter Fund,” Boyd said in the release. “We do not support the sentiment expressed in the two Hitler submissions.”
“MoveOn.org hasn’t sponsored such an ad, and we never would — we regret the appearance of these ads on the Bush In 30 Seconds site,” the MoveOn.org e-mail added, although both of the ads comparing Bush to Hitler appeared prominently on the contest Web site for members to vote on over the past month.
MoveOn.org now says that these two ads “got low ratings” from the “few hundred” MoveOn.org members who voted in the contest. But this contrasts with earlier figures released by MoveOn.org which claimed they had 2.9 million people vote on the ads in the contest.
Attempting to divert attention away from its primary goal of attacking President Bush, Boyd directly accused the RNC of not engaging in the truth with their criticism of MoveOn.org.
“MoveOn.org and the MoveOn.org Voter Fund exist to bring the public into the political process and produce a more fact-based election process,” Boyd surmised in the release. “We regret that the RNC doesn’t seem to embrace the same goals.”
In an attempt at damage control, MoveOn.org is now asking their members to “watch for stories” in the media that may ask MoveOn.org to take full responsibility for these ads by reporting any stories considered “inaccurate.”
In fact, MoveOn.org has set up a reporting Web site for people to send MoveOn.org any media coverage they are receiving over the Hitler ads.
“Call the news outlet yourself and give them hell for falling victim to such political baloney,” MoveOn.org instructs its members in the email. “Then please let us know so we can contact the outlets directly.”
The “reporting” page set up by MoveOn.org is titled “Help Stop the Right Wing Smear Campaign.” MoveOn.org says it will personally contact any news outlet that writes a story criticizing their ads and encourages its members to contact them as well.
MoveOn.org requests that anyone reporting about the so-called “inaccurate” stories to provide their name, address, telephone number and email address. In addition, MoveOn.org wants to know “which outlet carried the smear campaign item,” including the story date, a link to the story on the Internet, the title of the story, the Web site name, the type of Web site and the physical address of the Web site owner.
After getting this information, MoveOn.org asks “who did you talk to there when you contacted them,” wanting the name, email address, telephone number and fax number of the person spoken to at the outlet that published the story.
“It’s most effective to talk to an editor or manager who has some responsibility for what is covered by the outlet,” the reporting website suggests.
Finally, MoveOn.org wants to know “how your conversation went or give us any other additional comments.”
After following this methodical process for reporting the stories critical of MoveOn.org, there is a second phase planned by the group for handling their critics.
“After you’ve corrected the negative accounts, write an upbeat letter to your local paper about the exciting and positive aspects of the [Bush in 30 Seconds] contest and the finalists,” MoveOn.org asks its members in the email. “They’re creative, passionate, and totally unlike most of the political ads that are out there.”
Despite this positive characterization about the political ads created for this contest, most of them have negatively hyperbolized Bush’s entire presidency by attacking him as a liar, a dictator and a deceiver who is killing American troops and destroying the economy and the country.
MoveOn.org says the RNC is “stealing” the “glory” of their Bush-bashing contestants by complaining about the Hitler ads. They call the RNC “deceptive” and “disingenuous” for pointing out these two ads comparing Bush to the Nazi leader are wrong.
Boasting of its 1.7 million members, MoveOn.org says that the “right-wing radar” is now focused on them for choosing to attack the president.
“They are going to do everything they can do to silence us, and we simply won’t let it happen,” MoveOn.org concludes in the e-mail. “Smear tactics and campaigns of misinformation have no place in American democracy.”
The email is signed by all 9 members of the MoveOn.org team. However, the date of the email is written “January 6th, 2003,” which is a mistake since the year is 2004.
Although Gillespie has asked the Democrat candidates for president to denounce the Hitler ads, none have chosen to come forward.
But conservative public interest group RightMarch.com said in an e-mail on Tuesday that they are going to take out a full-page ad in every newspaper in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, states with caucus/primary elections in the next few weeks, to openly pressure the Democrat presidential candidates to respond to the MoveOn.org ads. The group says it would also like to run radio ads “demanding that the Democrat candidates publicly repudiate any support from political hate groups like MoveOn.org.”
RightMarch.com added, “Together, we can fight back against the lies of the radical left, by showing millions of our fellow Americans the truth.”