'Taliban Dan' Political Ad 'Backfires'

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Sometimes stupendously over-the-top political ads can make for savvy, or at least chuckle-producing, campaign moves (see: "Demon Sheep" and "Wizard of Oz"). But Rep. Alan Grayson's new "Taliban Dan" spot appears to have crossed the proverbial line into distasteful politicking. In the 30-second video, an ominous voice explains that Grayson's opponent, Republican Daniel Webster, wants to impose his "radical fundamentalism" on the general public. The video cuts an out-of-context quote from the candidate ("She [his wife] should submit to me") to mean the opposite of the unedited version of the clip. Needless to say, the advertisement was quickly panned by pundits on both sides of the aisle, who believe the ad probably "backfired":

  • It 'Twisted' Webster's Words finds Mark Schlueb at The Orlando Sentinel. "The Grayson campaign edited the original video, chopping it up and taking Webster's words out of context. Webster actually was advising husbands to bypass those particular Bible passages, according a longer video clip released Monday by Webster's campaign."
  • Fact Checking the Ad  Factcheck.org published an analysis of the advertisement and reported that, "Webster’s positions on abortion and marriage, and his religious views, are certainly fair game. But Grayson crosses the line when he uses manipulated video to cast Webster’s views in a false light, just as he did when he concocted a false accusation that Webster had been a Vietnam draft dodger."
  • 'Utterly Disgraceful' concludes Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. The campaign staff is acting disgracefully, "chief among them Grayson’s campaign manager Susannah Rudolph, who spent yesterday attempting to defend the obviously and egregiously dishonest ad, even after the Orlando Sentinel exposed it as a fraud.  This incident shows perfectly why Grayson, Rudolph, et al have no business anywhere near power."
  • Webster Said the 'Exact Opposite' writes Jim Treacher at The Daily Caller. "Putting the word 'don’t' at the beginning of a sentence tends to change the meaning of the rest of the sentence, unless you’re an oafish charlatan trying to win an election. Cue Alan Grayson. If he was running against Moses, he’d cut out all the 'Thou shalt not' stuff in the Ten Commandments. 'Moses wants you to steal, kill, and lie about your neighbor! I’m Alan Grayson and I approve this message while holding two small children.'"

Here's the "Taliban Dan" ad:

And what Webster actually said:

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