Wednesday, March 21, 2007

obama operative draws blood with youtube attack ad

Mystery creator of anti-Clinton ad is identified

Updated Wed. Mar. 21 2007 7:43 PM ET

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The mystery creator of an Orwellian YouTube ad against Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Democratic party operative who worked for a digital consulting firm with ties to rival U.S. Senator Barack Obama.

Philip de Vellis, a strategist with Blue State Digital, acknowledged in an interview he was the creator of the video, which portrayed Clinton as a Big Brother figure and urged support for Obama's presidential campaign.

De Vellis said he resigned from the firm Wednesday after he learned he was about to be unmasked by the, a liberal news and opinion Internet site.

Blue State designed Obama's website and one of the firm's founding members, Joe Rospars, took a leave from the company to work as Obama's director of new media.

"It's true...yeah, it's me,'' de Vellis said Wednesday evening.

He said he produced the ad outside of work and neither Blue State nor the Obama campaign was aware of his role in the ad.

"But it raises some eyebrows, so I thought it best that I resign and not put them in that position.''

In a statement released Wednesday evening, the Obama campaign said: "The Obama campaign and its employees had no knowledge and had nothing to do with the creation of the ad.''

"We were notified this evening by a vendor of ours, Blue State Digital, that an employee of the company had been involved in the making of this ad. Blue State Digital has separated ties with this individual and we have been assured he did no work on our campaign's account.''

The Clinton campaign had no immediate comment.

The connection to the Obama camp, however, poses a public-relations problem for the campaign. Obama has argued he is a different type of presidential candidate who rejects negative politics.

The ad was guerrilla politics at its cleverest and had become the boffo hit of the YouTube website.

The 74-second clip, a copy of a 1984 Apple ad for its Macintosh computer, has recorded nearly 1.5 million views, with an enormous surge in the past two days. The video's final image reads: "''

De Vellis remained hidden for weeks, protected by the anonymity afforded by YouTube and the absence of government regulations governing most Internet political speech.

The ad portrayed Clinton on a huge television screen addressing robotic humans in a stark, futuristic hall. A female athlete tosses a hammer at the screen, destroying Clinton's image with an explosive flash.

Then this text: "On January 14th the Democratic primary will begin. And you will see why 2008 isn't going to be like `1984.'''

De Vellis said he used footage of an updated Apple ad that portrayed the female athlete wearing an iPod. He said he used standard Apple equipment to modify the video and edit Clinton's image into the clip.

Obama, appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live'' on Monday night, said his campaign knew nothing about the origins of the anti-Clinton ad.

"Frankly, given what it looks like, we don't have the technical capacity to create something like this,'' he said.

"It's pretty extraordinary.''


At 11:46 a.m. , Blogger Wally said...

That's the most retarded and pointless thing I've ever heard. The only real content in it, what Clinton was SAYING, was totally benign. And the woman in the 80s gym shorts - wtf?


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