As it turns out, Scott Wheeler, the executive director of the National Republican Trust PAC, the group which paid for and produced the ad buy– worked on the infamous Clinton Chronicles– the discredited documentary that accused Bill Clinton of murdering his political opponents, engaging in drug running, and all kinds of other nefarious things that were largely either imaginary or fabricated. For those who don’t recall, or are too young to know, with the backing of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, more than 400,000 copies of the video were distributed and although the film’s allegations were rightfully marginalized in the mainstream, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page amplified– sometimes as legitimate– many of the film’s most lurid allegations.
Here is an article I did way back in 1998 about how the Falwell backed Citizens for Honest Government often paid “witnesses” who had lurid stories to tell about Clinton to compensate them for appearing in the Clinton Chronicles and other conspiratorial films about Clinton which they produced. Many of the false allegations made by the “witnesses”– sometimes influenced by payments arranged by the group– were repeated as gospel on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, on the pages of the American Spectator, and on talk radio. (Other articles I wrote about the adventures of Citizens for Honest Government and those they paid can be found here, here, and here.)
Greg Sargent at TPM has the latest information about the expense and reach of the ad buy:
The National Republican Trust PAC, which has been airing an ad attacking Barack Obama’s association with Reverend Wright in three battleground states, has now put down for a national buy on five networks that will last from now through election day, a consultant with the group confirms to me.
The ad will run nationally on Fox, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC for the next five days, the consultant, Rick Wilson, says — “all the way until election day.”
The ad, which you can watch here, features the now-infamous footage of Wright’s livelier sermons, and intones that Obama “never complained” about Wright “until he ran for President,” adding that Obama is “too radical, too risky.”
Previously, the ad was only running in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, as Ben Smith reported the other day.
Now, however, the ad will run nationally, Wilson says, adding that the group just got through getting the spot vetted with network lawyers and is good to go.
Late Update: Wilson tells me that the PAC will have spent $2 million on this national buy by the end of tomorrow.
Here is the video of the ad itself:
Update: if the television networks are going to run these ads, shouldn’t there be an obligation for them– even if they just do short stories on their websites– to tell the public a little more about who is behind them?]]>