Bill Ayers was a founding member of the Weather Underground, a patently ridiculous white radical organization that specialized in being dumb hippies. They liked to blow up symbolic things like statues. Once they put a bomb in the Pentagon! No one was hurt except for some files. Anyway. This was years ago and since then, Bill has become so goddamn respectable that Mayor Richard Daley tapped him to head a "public-private partnership" dedicated to improving Chicago public schools. Barack Obama was on the board of a philanthropic foundation with Bill in 1999 which means, according to this fantastic attack ad, that Barack Obama wanted to blow up the Pentagon just like the terrorists of 9/11. Except worse! Ha ha this ad is ridiculous and you won't see it on TV because no one will air it, except for an obscure little company that owns local stations covering a quarter of the country. (And us. And we cover the world! Except for China probably.) A McCain fundraiser named Harold Simmons funded the ad through one of those shadowy nonprofits the kids are so into these days called the "American Issues Project." Simmons was, you may be shocked to learn, also a Swift Boat Veterans for Truth funder. This particular ad is so distorted that CNN and even Fox News have refused to run it! Which leaves, of course, the local channels owned by Sinclair Communications. The Sinclair Broadcast Group owns the largest number of local TV stations in the country, mostly throughout the South and Midwest. They last made headlines in 2004, when the company refused to allow its stations to air the Nightline segment that named American casualties in Iraq (they hate the troops!), and then six months later when they made all their stations broadcast a crazy Swift Boat documentary about how John Kerry committed treason in Vietnam. Oh, and then they were the ones behind the Armstrong Williams debacle, in which Williams was revealed to be a White House-paid propagandist while hosting a syndicated show as an ostensibly independent commentator. The show was produced out of Sinclair's "New Central" office, which produced much of the insane "news" content Sinclair feeds to its many stations. (Sinclair received a $36,000 FCC fine for their trouble.) But besides a GQ story on Sinclair back in '05, no one really pays any attention to the work of Sinclair. They reach nearly as many homes as an actual television network and purposefully exert more control over the message they broadcast than any 24-hour news network, but because they own podunk affiliates in flyover country, no one notices. Per Wikipedia:
Sinclair still produces a one-minute national news briefing for its stations, entitled Washington Newsroom. Starting in 2007, Sinclair launched a new newscast on some of its' stations, completely separate from local news operations, called American Crossroads. Like News Central and "The Point", the program, hosted by Jeff Barnd (a news anchor at WBFF) covers national news stories and offers a conservative editorial segment.Oh, and the co-owner who controls the in-house produced conservative "news" that each of their stations are forced to play is also a war profiteer and a convicted whoremonger. SO! Harold Simmons does not actually need the reasoned and wise gatekeepers of the real national media, or even the nutty-but-mainstream gatekeepers of the conservative national media. Because he can reach nearly a quarter of America at home, on their local channels, across Ohio, Florida, Missouri, and other small-market towns in swing states. For cheap! Of course, unlike Kerry, Obama's fighting back hard against this smear. His campaign sent strongly worded letters to all the stations that played the ad, featuring veiled threats against their broadcast licenses in the event of an Obama presidency ("Your station is committed to operating in the public interest, an objective that cannot be satisfied by accepting for compensation material of such malicious falsity.") And, of course, in going after these ads, he's getting them more play from those respected gatekeepers, who will now play them all the time to tsk-tsk about how terrible it all is.