Monday, October 31, 2005


Husband and Wife working together around the kitchen, making dinner. Husband washing pots. Wife pulling a roasted chicken out of the oven.

Wife: So hon, did you hear the President nominated Sam Alito to the Supreme Court?

Husband: Sure did. Too bad. I thought Meirs looked pretty sharp and might be reasonable. Course, that's why the right wingers made sure Bush got her to withdraw.

Wife: No, you really think so? I thought she was just sick of the process, all those questions about things years ago. I mean, who wants to go through all that?

Husband: Well, we better go through all that. Alito voted to make women notify their husbands that they want an abortion, even if the guy's a wife-beater.

CLOSEUP OF WIFE, EYES LOOKING RIGHT INTO THE CAMERA, Wife says, "Oh, reeeealy...." Wife's eyes become steely with determination.

FADE TO BLACK, CAPTION WITH VOICEOVER: "If you care about maintaining reproductive freedom, you must oppose the nomination of Sam Alito to the United States Supreme Court. For more information contact us at................"

Monday, March 14, 2005

ATTACK AD OF THE DAY- Bush's SS "Expert"

Fade into footage of Bush at a privatize SS rally smiling and yucking it up as he introduces Noah McCullough, his 9 year old SS expert.

VOICEOVER: You know, the President wants you to take the word of a child when it comes to privatizing Social Security. Now we admit, he's pretty impressive, but we thought you might want to hear from someone else..."

Fade into headshot of an wise looking articulate elderly man looking into the camera..."When I was nine my dad lost everything we had in the stock market crash that started the great depression. We had to live off friends and family. It was humiliating. My Social Security check makes sure that no matter what happens, I'll be able to keep my basic human dignity. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to appreciate what you've got."

Fade to still-frame close-up of Noah McCullough.

Fade to black with Caption: "Call your Senators and Congressperson today and ask them to oppose the President's reckless scheme to privatize Social Security."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

ATTACK AD- BUSH'S "Expert" #2

Fade into footage of Bush at a privatize SS rally smiling and yucking it up as he introduces Noah McCullough, his 9 year old SS expert.

VOICEOVER: You know, the President wants you to take the word of a child when it comes to privatizing Social Security. Now we admit, he's pretty impressive, but we thought you might want to hear from someone else..."

Fade into headshot of a nobel prize winning economist (gimme a name Readers) looking into the camera...

"The truth is, this President is damaging Social Security by breaking open Bill Clinton's lock box and using your money to pay for his tax cuts for the wealthy. Privatizing Social Security addresses a crisis that doesn't exist, and in doing it takes the 'security' out of Social Security. Don't buy into this effort to break the promise that each generation of Americans has kept to its children and grandparents for over 60 years."

Fade to black with Caption: "Call your Senators and Congressperson today and ask them to oppose the President's reckless scheme to privatize Social Security."

Monday, March 07, 2005

Here's the best Attack Ad I've seen in Ages!!!Posted by Hello

The UCC's response to the Sponge Bob controversy!

Check out the whole tableau at


Take it from Abe, an HONEST Republican Posted by Hello

Go ahead, post your own caption in "Comments"

Sunday, March 06, 2005


"Fuzzy Math" by The Bots, The World's First Virtual Band.

This animation hilariously destroys Bush and deserves a lot more attention than Jib Jab.

I'm giving it the ATTACK AD OF THE DAY GUARANTEE: If there's anything on this site you like, you'll love this!!!!


Saturday, March 05, 2005

NEW dKos Diary by jsmckay.

LOOK OUT - WE'RE BEING FRAMED - It's About Propaganda, Not Gannon's Sex Life.

Check it out, you'll like it (or at least find it interesting).

Just posted 2/28/05, 11:15 p.m.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Not Even Superheros Could Pull This One Out... Posted by Hello

Try your own caption in "Comments"

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Attack Ad - Bush's Media - "Gannon"

Film Clip from 2000: Bush Giving a Speech, "I'll bring integrity back to the White House."

Fade to recent video of "Gannon" smugly saying to Bush, ""Harry Reid was talking about soup lines.'"

Cut to Newspaper Headline: "Gannon" a fraud, exposed as front for GOP"

Fade to Armstrong Williams talking on Fox.

Superimposed headline: "Williams paid $241, 000 to support White House programs"

Fade to black with caption: "With integrity like this, who needs scandal?"

Next Caption: "Clean Up Washington. Vote Democratic."

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Attack Ad- Sally's Birth Tax

Child in her bedroom, dropping coins in her piggy bank.

VOICEOVER: "It looks like Sally's in the black."

Fades to black with the words 2025. Then into a picture of a grown up Sally, working as a janitor sweeping an institutional-style hallway.

VOICEOVER: "Not Anymore."

Fade to black with the words. "Sally's share of the national debt: $36,000 dollars. Courtesy the Republicans in Congress, the Senate and the White House."

Fade through black with the words: "Fight the Birth Tax. Vote Democratic. "

Go Ahead. Try your own on the comments page. It's FUN!

Our fearless leaders! Posted by Hello

Put your own caption in the Comments section!

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Close-up of a hand putting shiny half-dollars into a ceramic piggy bank. "Clink, Clink, Clink" in the background.

Fade into footage of Bush at 2000 debate, "that's uh, some kind of fuzzy math they're usin'..." Date appears at bottom, "Fall, 2000"

Fade into footage of Bush official saying, "The President's perscription drug bill will only cost 400 million." Date appears at bottom, "Fall, 2001"

Fade to close-up of Newspaper Headline, "President's perscription drug plan to cost 1.3 Trillion.." Date appears at bottom, "February, 2005."

Cut back to Piggy Bank just as it's getting burried with thousands of coins and 100 dollar bills.

VOICEOVER: "Look who's doin' the fuzzy math now..."


Black Screen.

"Clink. Clink. Clink."

Fades into Rumsfeld at Congress, "2003" superimposed.

Rummy says,"The cost of this war will be borne by Iraqi people who have huge oil reserves."

"Clink. Clink. Clink."

Fade into Rummy at Congress again, "2004" superimposed.
Rummy says, "This appropriation of 87 Billion is necessary to assure the liberation of Iraq."

"Clink. Clink. Clink."

Fade to grainy picture of Rummy."February 7, 2005" superimposed.
Fade to superimposed QUOTE FROM A.P., "Congress has already approved another $25 billion for this year."

FADE TO BLACK WITH "February 9, 2005" superimposed.
FADE TO SUPERIMPOSED HEADLINE FROM Chicago Tribune,"Red-Ink Budget Doesn't Include Costs of War."

Sound of thousands of coins falling and bouncing around all at once.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Make this dKos Diary a Front Page Story:
Read it and recommend it. You can do it, I only need a few more to make the front page!!!

Main Street Media Picking Up on Gannon- Time to crank up OUR Framing Machine

As I watched Anderson Cooper on CNN just now doing about 10 minutes grilling Gannon I had a mostly good mixture of feelings. I was pleased that he was finally starting to cover this real and important story, yet I was disappointed to see that he felt he had to qualify his reporting by letting Gannon get away with claiming that this is all a personal attack based on the gay escort angle.

My sense from following this story as its emerged on the blogs is that everyone here understands that it's the propaganda and inside access to Plame stuff that's most important, and that the hotmilitarystuds angle is an interesting sidelight, relevant primarilly for showcasing Gannon's hypocracy. It's news in the same way that televangist affairs are news. They debunk the "holier than thou" self-righteousness that these guys sell like popcorn, but they really don't have a lot of societal impact.
Now, as this story gathers steam and gets further into the MSM, it strikes me that we need to be thinking about how to counteract the WH spin machine and get the information out there accurately.

The battle has already begun, whether we know it or not. Rove's attempts thus far have been as follows:

-Play up the Jordan story to distract the media by giving them a "liberal" target and hijack the news cycle until the Gannon story goes stale.

-Attempt to discredit the story as a bunch of whooey by pajama wearing liberals who hate the president so much they will play dirty with this "poor guy's" personal life.

Now, my contribution to how we should frame this debate is as follows:
We must drop the gay porn angle. Who cares? We're liberals for Chrissakes, and pushing the guy's preference distracts from the greater point. Remember how the Cheney daughter remark took the wind out of Kerry's 3d debate win? We need to just DROP IT. Right now. Don't let them dismiss the important point by harping on the trivial one.

We must continue to pursue with all our strength and intelligence the evidence that would show this is part of a BROADER PATERN to create a propaganda campaign that bears little relation to indisputable facts.

We should highlight in particular how this propaganda campaign has been intentionally designed to protect the administration from legitimate questions by the MSM.
This final angle is really important and should (finally) be sticking under the MSM's craw and ought to propel them on to further investigation of their own.
If these investigations pan out AND the MSM unites in pursuing this story, the disinformation machine may finally get the public undoing that it deserves.

Kerry Rally in Manchester NH the Sunday before the election. Posted by Hello


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Iraq Attack Ad- The Soldiers of '08?

Junior High age kids playing organized baseball on a field. Let's dress them in Cubs uniforms.

Voiceover: In 2003 President George W. Bush made a choice to send our sons and daughters into a war in a foreign land thousands of miles away, unleashing the hatred of thousands of extremists who now feel justified and heroic blowing themselves up just to kill us.

Backdrop blends into horrific scenes from Iraq.

Voiceover: In 2008, these boys will turn 18.

Go Ahead, Give it a Try. You know you can!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Ad Kerry Should Have Run

Closeup of pile of military records scattered on top of a desk.

Voiceover: "When the time came for George W. Bush to serve his country in time of war he was missing in action. "Why does this matter?"

Scene fades into footage of tense soldiers piling out of a chopper.

Voiceover: "Because now he wants to send your sons and daughters into harm's way. "Scene melds into picture of Bush on left.

Voiceover: "He didn't learn from his experiences. ""Vote for someone who did."Bush fades out and Kerry fades in.

I know you've got an ad in you. Post it in Comments!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Attack Ads on Health Care (recommended focus: Health Care for Children)

Shots of people working minimum wage jobs. Convenience store clerk. Fast food cook. WalMart-type employee in a blue smock.

VOICEOVER: "Chances are you know someone like this. Hard working Americans who care about their families more than anything else."

Shots of the same people, fishing, talking and hanging out with their kids and grandkids.

VOICEOVER: "Over 8 Million of their kids and grandchildren have no health insurance."

Shot of kid missing a thrown ball turning and running towards a busy street to retrieve it.

Screen goes black.

VOICEOVER: Tires Screeching. "Is this how it should be in the richest country on earth?"

scrolling title: "Vote Democratic. For your health."

Go Ahead. Try One Yourself by Clicking COMMENTS.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Bush at the podium during State Of The Union calling for privatization of Social Security.

Cut to Lieberman as the lone Democrat giving Bush a standing ovation.

Back to Bush, now talking about going after Iran.

Back to Lieberman, kissing Bush after the speech.

Fade to Black with Caption:

"With Democrats like this, who needs the Republicans?"


Monday, February 07, 2005

Haloween Sticker at Kerry Rally in NH the Sunday before the election. Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Rumsfeld's Writer's Cramp

Shot looking into the open doorway of a well-appointed office. Lots of leather chairs and so forth.

Second shot is closer, it looks in over the shoulder of a man sitting at a large desk with a stack of letters before him. You never see his face.

Every few moments the man drops his pen and shakes his hand around. "Damn. This is Haaard Work." he says,then picks up the pen again and resumes signing the letters.

Fade to black with the words: "1300 and Counting."

Saturday, February 05, 2005

ATTACK AD- Bush's Asbestos "Reform"

Black Screen, with voice over: "More than 100 Northwest families have won a $30 million settlement in an asbestos lawsuit involving a subsidiary of Houston-based Halliburton Co."

Bush at SOTU, "Justice is distorted, and our economy is held back, by irresponsible class actions and frivolous asbestos claims - and I urge Congress to pass legal reforms this year."

Cut to blue collar working man in jeans, plaid shirt, hacking away on his rural porch.

Fade to black with title, "Frivolous Asbestos Claims?"

Friday, January 28, 2005

Social Security Attack Ads

Average Guy (not a redneck, just a decent looking middle-class guy)sitting on his couch watching a TV. Kids running in and out of the house.

Wife calls out from the kitchen: "Honey, the privatized Social Security account is due."

Husband: "Gee, Honey, I just don't know whether we should go for the hedge funds or the junk bonds this time. What do you think?"

Wife: "Oh, I don't know hon. Maybe we should call the family stockbroker."

Husband looks into camera dumbfounded: "Uh, family stockbroker?"

CAPTION ACROSS SCREEN: Privatizing Social Security is for People Who Don't Need It. Count on the party that created it to save it. THE DEMOCRATS

Go Ahead, give it a try-Add yours in the Comments Section...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Attack Ad of the Day- The Torture Guy

Black screen with Voiceover: "Ever wonder why we're having so much trouble convincing Iraqis that we're on their side? Well, maybe it has something to do with this...."

Screen fades to shots of Iraqi prisoner abuse fading into one another every few seconds as the Voiceover continues...

"Who's responsible for this? The same man that George Bush now wants to become the top law enforcement officer in the nation."

Screen fades to black as Voiceover continues, "Is this the kind of people we are? Call your senator today to ask them to stop the nomination of Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. Don't let this...."

Fade back to torture shot.

"...continue to be the face of America."

Monday, January 17, 2005

ATTACK AD- Martin's Dream

Footage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. proclaiming "I have a dream.."

Cut to bombs going off on urban streets of Iraq. Frightened Iraqis running towards the camera.

Back to MLK, "I have a dream..."

Back to Iraqis. Headline Superimposed: "WMD search abandoned. No weapons found."

Back to MLK, "I have a dream..."

Cut to Tsunami footage, people fleeing the wave as it washes into their streets.Headline superimposed, "US Criticized for being 'stingy' on Tsunami aid."

Back to MLK,"I have a dream..."

Fade to black.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


ESSAY ON COMMUNICATION: (dozens of "4s" on dKos)

It's About Leadership, Stupid
by jmckay

I am a trial lawyer, son of a preacher, and a product of the "heartland." I've spent approximately 1/2 of my life in the midwest and 1/2 in New England. In both places, my job as a public defender has required me to persuade the average citizens who serve on juries to treat my clients fairly. This is no small task since my clients are invariably from the "wrong side of the tracks," and charged with something so horrible that the state is literally trying to execute them. These experiences have taught me something about how regular people think and how progressives can appeal to them as we try to turn our country around. Here's what I think:

  1. People take their civic responsibilities seriously, whether it's voting on a verdict or voting for president.
  2. People want to and will do what they believe to be right.
  3. Some people fall clearly on one side of the ideological spectrum and they are not persuadable to the other side. They will vote guilty or not guilty, Republican or Democratic, regardless of the facts that are presented to them.
  4. Most people fall in the middle, and they are perplexed and frightened about how they should vote.Their fears are exacerbated by their own knowledge that they are poorly informed about what's going on beyond the relatively small boundaries of their own day to day world.
  5. People in the middle resolve their doubts by looking for guidance, reassurance, and confidence from others.
  6. The lawyer or candidate that can state his/her position simply and powerfully will provide that reassurance and win the middle.
    Rule 6 applies, even if people in the middle disagree with the lawyer or candidate on specific issues.
  7. The lawyer or candidate who wins the middle wins the case or the election.
  8. These rules apply regardless of whether you are trying your case in Missouri or Connecticut.

The Republicans learned these lessons with Reagan. George W. has perfected the style. He doesn't know much, but he makes it clear where he stands on the two or three things that he knows people are concerned about. This is reassuring to the middle and they resolve their doubts in his favor. Add in the Rove/Cheney disinformation machine simultaneously cranking up their fears and you have a winning combination.

Democrats need to learn these lessons too, and accept them as inalterable truths about the human beings they are trying to persuade. This is not to say that we should shun complexity in our thinking and analysis of the issues. It is only to say that if you want to win the average citizen in the middle, you need to learn how to communicate with them like a leader-clearly, simply and strongly. Bill Clinton did this better than anyone, but you don't have to be Clinton for it to work. W. can barely speak, but he has incredible discipline and clarity in his message.

Americans want leadership above all else. They will vote for the person who appears to be the best leader, even if they disagree with him/her on the issues. The Bush's and Reagan have proven this again and again. It happens because they are perceived as leaders, and they are perceived as leaders because they have learned that communication is the essence of leadership.

Dukakis and Kerry didn't lose because they were intellectuals from Massachusetts. They didn't lose because the public disagreed with them on the issues. They lost because they couldn't select the two or three things that people in the middle care about and communicate their positions clearly and powerfully. For people in the middle, they failed to lead.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

International Choices - Tsunami Aid

Black screen, fading to American flag flapping in the breeze.

Voiceover: "There are times when America has been called upon to help the world. "

"In World War I, we came to the aid of Europe. "

Fade to black and white footage of troops in World War I, slogging through Europe with cassons in tow.

Voiceover: "In World War II, we did it again."

Fade to scratchy color footage of US soldiers being wildly cheered while riding down the Champs d'Elise during the liberation of Paris in World War II.

Voiceover: "Today, the world needs us again."

Fade to newspaper headline, "120,000 die in Asian tidal wave, epidemics feared", superimposed over footage of massive destruction shots from Asia.

Voiceover: "Where are we?"

Hard cut to footage of insurgents burning American flags and chanting in Iraq.
Voiceover: "Have we made the right choices?"

Fade to black with title and voiceover saying: "If you think our country's on the wrong track, vote Democratic in 2006."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Scroll down if you want to skip this essay and go straight to the many Attack Ads

Essay on where attack ads fit in a communication strategy-
Lessons from the Death Penalty Trenches
by jsmckay

I defend death penalty cases for a living. In order to do so, it is critical to distill lots of small facts into a few large emotional themes. For example, juries won't spare a killer because he had an abusive dad. They spare him because the guy's homelife was the kind of nightmare we all try to protect our children from. Trees are tools. The forrest means everything. Bush/Rove understands this. We do not.

Bush's victory was a brilliant triumph of strategic message control. It was not the product of a great ideological shift. He beat us the same way he beat Ann Richards (a Texan) and Al Gore (a Southerner-at least as much as W.), both of whom were expected by many to win in a landslide. He used a simple but brilliantly executed 2 prong attack:

1. Message discipline. COMMUNICATION IS LEADERSHIP. There is no difference between the two. It motivates the base and wins the middle. Kerry, while I liked him and thought he'd be a great president, was ineffectual at this. He was "the real deal," sought "A Stronger America," promised a "fresh start," and so on. His message was constantly changing, bouncing from one tree to the next, never settling on the forrest that would be his defining theme. Along the way, he missed plenty of trees. The day the soldiers mutinied and refused to go on a mission Kerry should have been saying here is yet another example of how this man is going to get your sons killed. Instead, he talked about flu shots.

2.Personal attack. The problem with Bush wasn't that he had the wrong positions. The problem was that he was an incompetent human being. Rove understands that the public votes for the man, not the policy. That's why "flip-floper" worked better than "W stands for Wrong." If you take down the other guy, it doesn't matter if you're on the right side of the issues.

These approaches were brilliantly executed, right down to making Bush's crowds take a loyalty oath before letting them attend his speaches. They created lasting themes for voters as they entered the booth. They did know where Bush stood, and in a time of fear, that was more important than the fact that they disagreed with him on most of the issues. The forrest was clear. That's why they won.

It's almost impossible to overestimate the importance of thematic clarity and discipline. That's what they teach you at the best trial schools in the nation. It is the essence of what motivates people to make important decisions. Jury trials are like mini-elections and in the world of saving killers' lives, every one of them takes place in a red state.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


All-American family sitting around kitchen table eating dinner. Let's put them in say Columbus, OH or any other heartland kind of place.

Dad says, "So Johnny what happened at school today?"

Johnny: "Gee, Dad, I don't know, I didn't make it to school."

Dad: "You didn't? Why not?"

Johnny: "Well, you see this bus got blown up on the street out front and about 20 of my friends got killed, so they decided to call off school."

Dad: "Well, sounds like a good decision. Say, what time's your soccer game tomorrow?"
Fade to black.

Voiceover: "Ever wonder why they hate us? XXX,000 Iraquis have died since we "liberated" them."


Black screen, the following words appear: "Compassionate Conservatism?
Scenes of explosions in Iraqi streets. People running everywhere. US soldiers flee towards the camera.
Fade to Rumsfeld: "As you know, you go to war with the army you have..."

Scenes of hummers with refrigerator doors and other "hillbilly armor" bolted to them. Soldiers cursing as they scavenge a smokey trash dump for more of the same.

Fade to Bush: "I believe he's doing a really fine job."

Closeup of dirty tired soldier kneeling and panting, out of breath as he glances sideways into the camera.

Cut to black, the following words appear: "Commander in Chief?"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Dad in a minivan, picks up his kid at school.

Cop directing busy traffic at urban intersection, blowing whistle as cars zoom by.

Female nurse leans over an elderly woman in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of her. Brushes the woman's hair out of her face in a kindly way.

Truck driver throws cardboad boxes onto a loading dock.


"You know, I used to get a little creeped out by gay people."

Fade to Democratic Presidential (or other) candidate standing with arms around the gathered group of the principals in the previous segments, before a huge American flag.


"That was before I got to know a few. Join me in assuring that America lives up to it's promise as the land of equality... for all of us."

"It's just not that scary."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Attack Ads on Bush's Character

Film clip of Bush at debate when he's asked whether he's made any mistakes.

Voiceover: "When asked if he'd made any mistakes, President Bush told us 'No'"

Black and White Close-up of dirty faced solumn soldier looking into the camera.

"Well how about this..."

Footage of Chanting insurgents in Iraq.

Caption"We'll be welcomed as liberators."

Footage of buildings being blown up.

Caption: "Freedom is on the March."

Return to same Black and White photo of solumn soldier.

Caption: "I warned him to prepare the American public for casualties and he told me, 'There won't be any casualties...'" The Reverand Billy Graham, date XX/XX/XX

Photo of soldier fades to black.

Post your own in the comments section...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Attack Ads on "Values"

Rural Farmer looks camera dead in the eye as he stands before his field on a grey day.

"You know, I voted for the Republicans last time because I was for the 10 Commandments."

"Now my granddaughter's lost her job and can't afford her blood pressure medicine."

"Maybe next time, I'll vote on a different set of values"

Screen fades to black. "Vote Democratic. The Party of Values."

Go ahead, give it a shot, post your ad in the Comments...

Monday, August 02, 2004


Post ads or comments on any subject in the comments section here.

Go for it!

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.