According to the website of local Boston news station WCBV-TV5:
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren Thursday had no problems being linked to the Occupy Wall Street movement and stands by her statement that she “created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do.”
“Yes, I’ve been fighting Wall Street for a very long time,” said Warren on WCVB TV’s political show OTR. “I’m glad to see people push on this issue.”
Warren’s comments were made on the same day American Crossroads, an independent group associated with political operative Karl Rove, debuted a new ad linking Warren to violent video from the Occupy Wall Street movement…
American Crossroads is spending $600,000 to run the ad in the Boston, Springfield and Providence television markets for two weeks.
Sen. Scott Brown did not welcome the ad.
“Outside groups should stay out of the Massachusetts Senate election. People are hurting. They’ve lost a job, or maybe their homes. Their incomes have declined,” said Brown. “We need to focus on the very real issue of putting people back to work. I wish all these ads from outside groups would be taken down.”
It’s as if Senator Brown suspects that Karl Rove’s ads (“… by the one percent, for the one percent”, thank you Greg Sargent) are going to be less useful to him than her many, many non-Massachusetts-based supporters are going to be to Elizabeth Warren. Further from Greg S. at his Plum Line blog:
… In other words, it’s happening again. When the outside ads really get going, there will be a great deal of media debate about the propriety of spending by these groups. But just as happened last time, virtually no one will focus on the actual content of the ads. Outside of a few fact checkers, few if any media types will care that the discourse is getting saturated by distortions and lies, or bother trying to determine which side is the worse offender in this regard.
Steve Benen at his Washington Monthly Political Animal blog goes after the pollster behind the ad:
A couple of weeks ago, pollster Doug Schoen, the quintessential “Fox News Democrat” — an alleged Dem who’s actively hostile towards the party and its agenda — wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed trashing Occupy Wall Street protesters. Schoen even urged President Obama to steer clear of these “radical” activists for his own good. (Given that Schoen has already urged the president to drop out of the 2012 race, one might question whether the DINO has Obama’s best interest at heart.)
To put it mildly, Schoen’s analysis was deeply flawed. To prove his case, Schoen pointed to the results of a poll he conducted in New York’s Zuccotti Park and found that 77% of the activists supported raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. That wasn’t shocking — 76% of the national population said the same thing…
Schoen made a bogus claim; the claim was debunked with real evidence; and Rove’s operation uses the debunked claim to smear Warren.
Also note, Dave Weigel highlights a new anti-Occupy ad from the Massachusetts Republican Party, which uses a different Schoen quote to smear both Warren and the protestors. (The GOP ad describes Schoen on screen as a “Democratic pollster,” which is obviously intended to mislead the viewer.)
As Ari Berman put it, “At this point, it seems like Doug Schoen exists to be quoted in GOP attack ads against Democrats.” Quite right. Any outlet describing Schoen as a “Democrat” without context or asterisks is misleading the public.
And Mr. Pierce at Esquire‘s Political Blog adds a final grace note:
I’d like to point out — futilely, and not for the last time — that it is not necessarily news when some leprous amphibian launches a new ad campaign, and that treating the new ad campaign like a news story per se, without explaining the track record of the leprous amphibian in question is what we in the news game used to call… free advertising. Of course, I am not an executive at a major newspaper who wets himself at the thought that somebody’s going to call him “liberal” on the radio, so there we are.
(Elizabeth Warren’s ActBlue donation page here.)