Delegate uses anonymous blog comments in attack ad.

Check out the unbelievable bullshit being pulled by Del. Tim Hugo’s reelection campaign. He’s taken anonymous comments about his opponent from Raising Kaine, attributing them to Raising Kaine, and then running them in an attack ad against Democratic opponent Rex Simmons. This is a game that I could have an enormous amount of fun with. (Let’s pause to recall when Jerry Kilgore photoshopped Tim Kaine’s face into a sheep, thus providing license for Jerry Bo Peep. Good times, good times.) What, I wonder, is the response in kind to Hugo’s attack on Simmons?

24 thoughts on “Delegate uses anonymous blog comments in attack ad.”

  1. That’s clearly an example of ugly negative campaigning, and it looks like the kind that usually backfires.

    Don’t take this as defending it, because I’m not…but the ad doesn’t attribute those quotes to Raising Kaine. It says ‘look what others are saying’ (which is a stupid suggestion…who are these ‘others’?), then it says ‘source – http://www.raisingkaine.com‘ under the quotes. Regardless of who said it, if it was published one way or another on http://www.raisingkaine.com, then it was accurately cited. Dirty, stupid, misleading…but accurate.

    But I think most voters get turned off by ads this over-the-top, and it will do little more than rally the base and simultaneously piss off undecideds.

  2. Dirty, stupid, misleading

    Yup. Just accurate enough to not be entirely false.

    It’s an anonymous post on the internet. What’s next, quoting something written on a bathroom stall in Hugo’s campaign office, and then attributing it to Hugo’s campaign?

    This honestly doesn’t outrage me. It just comes across as extremely stupid.

  3. Mr. Hugo also fall into the category of purveyor of political spam. For some reason, for most of this year, I have received email from his campaign talking about what a great guy he is.

    Evidently not, it turns out.

  4. Biker #2: I say we kill him!
    Biker Gang: [shouts] Yeah!
    Biker #3: I say we hang him, then we kill him!
    Biker Gang: [shouts] Yeah!
    Biker #4: I say we scalp him!
    Biker Gang: [shouts] Yeah!
    Biker #4: Then we tattoo him!
    Biker Gang: [shouts] Yeah!
    Biker #4: Then we hang him!
    Biker Gang: [shouts] Yeah!
    Biker #4: And then we kill him!
    Biker Gang: [shouts] Yeah!
    Pee-wee Herman: [trying to throw voice without moving lips] I say we let him go.
    Biker Gang: [shouts] No!
    Biker Mama: [whistles] I say you let me have him first
    Biker Gang: Yeah!

  5. Before that TV ad I would have said that Tim Hugo wasn’t stupid enough to be writing endorsements for Vice President 13%. But I’m not so sure now.

  6. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner have proven to Virginia that Democrats can lead, govern, and put Virginia first. Republicans obstruct and put ideology and party before the good of the Commonwealth.

    Despite Republican obstruction Warner and Kaine addressed the most critical problems in Virginia and made Virginia the best managed state in the nation, the best state for business, and the best place for kids to prepare for success in life.

    This year, Virginia voters will have a chance to decide between the reactionary ideological past or the pragmatic, successful future. Tim Kaine needs Democratic allies in the House and Senate, and there is a blue tidal wave ready to wash over Virginia this November delivering supporting majorities in the Senate and potentially the House as well.

    Meanwhile, the Republicans have put party first, and have nothing left but the same kind of Rovian tactics that failed when Kilgore and Allen used them in the past.

    Tim Hugo’s failed attack is more of the same that has cost Republicans in recent years and promises to cost more. Virginia voters will choose Democrats across the Commonwealth in November, and Rex Simmons will be among a freshman class in a new Democratic majority that will help Tim Kaine lead Virginia into a brighter future.

  7. Mark Warner, whatever his considerable attributes, raised taxes a ton after promising, repeatedly, not to do so.

  8. Our future Senator, Mark Warner, cleaned up every aspect of Virginia Government before working with Republicans and Democrats to generate the revenues necessary to clean up the mess left by Allen and Gilmore.

    IP, someday you’ll be able to write your own stuff, too, if you study hard and maybe read a book. ;)

  9. Waldo, it wasn’t “anonymous comments”. It was a pseudonym blogger in a diary entry, a blogger who we know the identity of, and who was in fact a Democratic party member and a supporter of Rex’s primary opponent.

    Diarists are not the same as anonymous commenters. At RK, they are required to register, and they can be monitored and promoted or deleted. This one wasn’t deleted until the ad was made.

    Now, maybe it’s stupid to quote anything from RK.

  10. Waldo, it wasn’t “anonymous comments”. It was a pseudonym blogger in a diary entry, a blogger who we know the identity of, and who was in fact a Democratic party member and a supporter of Rex’s primary opponent.

    The difference between anonymous and pseudonymous is academic. “We” may know the identity of that blogger (whoever “we” are), but I certainly don’t.

    Diarists are not the same as anonymous commenters.

    Of course they are. Whether one’s comment is called a “diary” or a “comment” is a matter of semantics and nothing more.

    At RK, they are required to register, and they can be monitored and promoted or deleted.

    Registration requires only an e-mail address, the same as any comment here; it verifies only that one has a functioning e-mail address. The ability to monitor, promote and delete a “diary” is, again, functionally identical to a comment.

    This one wasn’t deleted until the ad was made.

    So, just to be clear, the position you’re taking here is that any user generated commented posted to any website can be quoted and used to represent that website’s position? For instance, I disagree with you in this matter. Would the prudent thing for me to do be to simply delete your comment, lest it be quoted and credited to me? Doesn’t Raising Kaine’s keeping that diary up serve as a credit to the organization, that they’re willing to tolerate expression that they disagree with?

  11. any user generated commented posted to any website can be quoted and used to represent that website’s position?

    I don’t think anyone suggested that, and that’s not what occurred in the Hugo ad. The ad said that http://www.raisingkaine.com was the source, which it was. It didn’t say that Raising Kaine made the statements. There’s a difference.

  12. IP makes a good point. Raising Kaine is the source of the quotes. By attributing it to the source, he’s ensuring that he’s properly crediting the material, but no where does he say that such comments are the stance taken by Raising Kaine. If one quotes a letter to the editor out of the Washington Post, the Washington Post is the source, whether or not the quote reflects the editorial opinion of the Post.

    “Here’s what others say about Rex Simmonds” is not inaccurate. And to say others have been saying that on RK is not inaccurate either. They are statements that were made at RK and are attributed as such. Nothing sneaky, nothing out of the ordinary.

    It is up to the people at Raising Kaine to not only police their commenters, but to take advantage when things like this provide them an opportunity to actually counter claims they don’t agree with, whether in direct responses to the quoted comments or in future blog posts after the ad is placed and sends traffic their way. Don’t shoot the messanger.

    Also, this is yet another reason for the need of greater transparancy in the blogosphere. If commenters were required to identify themselves in some fashion so they could be held accountable for their words, the Hugo campaign would know exactly who to attribute the quote to. Instead, systems such as RK’s allow just anyone to say just anything at RK’s expense. It’s the nature of the beast and until they try and change that nature, it’s going to keep happening.

  13. I don’t think anyone suggested that, and that’s not what occurred in the Hugo ad. The ad said that http://www.raisingkaine.com was the source, which it was. It didn’t say that Raising Kaine made the statements. There’s a difference.

    That’s just being clever; it’s a distinction without difference. It would be like finding a Democrat named George Allen and running a TV ad having him endorse Mark Warner for Senate — yes, it would be entirely accurate, but it would also be willfully and badly misleading.

  14. would also be willfully and badly misleading.

    I agree 100%, hence my first post. This ad is stupid, unproductive, misleading, sneaky, and probably a net loser for the campaign… but accurate with the facts.

  15. Finally got around to watching the ad. It struck me as a combination of Fox News and the Colbert Report. A perfect parody of itself.

  16. Further, I think everyone’s focusing on comments when these quotes were made in an actual diary entry on the site. It was a post, not just some drive-by commenting that the Hugo campaign latched onto. It’s the downfall of RK’s set up. It’d be one thing if the Hugo campaign was quoting something from the comment section, but since anyone can join RK and write a diary and make their thoughts actual content on the site, that is promoted on the front page (usually through the “recent diaries” bar, but sometimes through actual posting), then anything on there can be viewed as fair game.

    You’re potentially looking at what may be a mis-interpretation of how RK works, but it’s the same mistake most people visiting the site can make. Readers have to go out of their way to figure out exactly what’s going on at RK, who’s really “official” and who isn’t, and by doing that, RK has set themselves up for this kind of criticism.

    Again, it comes down to transparancy and self policing, and not after the fact but ahead of time.

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