The Jawa Report has posted an incredibly detailed article on the smear campaign against Sarah Palin:
Extensive research was conducted by the Jawa Report to determine the source of smears directed toward Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Those smears included false allegations that she belonged to a secessionist political party and that she has radical anti-American views.
Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.
It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign. Namely:
* Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.
* The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.
* Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.
* Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.
* The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.
* This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod’s firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as “astroturfing.”
* David Axelrod is Barack Obama’s chief media strategist.
* The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.
This suggests that false rumors and outright lies about Sarah Palin and John McCain being spread on the internet are being orchestrated by political partisans and are not an organic grassroots phenomenon led by the left wing fringe.
The evidence is compelling. And seems to be confirmed by the disappearing You Tube videos and accounts which are the basis for Rusty's claims. Ace, from Ace of Spades HQ, who assisted the Jawa Report in compiling the story:
I would once again stress that this is the best confirmation of everything Rusty alleged... and the stuff he didn't quite allege but we're all thinking is most likely true.
"eswinner" is not sitting at the computer watching right-wing blogs post stories.
"eswinner" does not have a staff vigilantly monitoring the internet for damaging stories.
Neither, for that matter, does Winner & Associates.
But the Barack Obama campaign, headed up by David Astroturf, does.
Who directed eswinner to close his account?:
Barack Obama and the DNC watch this blog. And I've put them on notice since this afternoon that a story about them was coming.
Within an hour of the story being posted, the videos began coming down. Within 90 minutes they were all down.
That's a pretty fast response time. I didn't mention Winner & Associates in my hints. So why would they be on notice?
I only mentioned Axelrod and Obama.
No, I do not believe that a random Winner & Associates employee just happened to be reading the Ace of Spades website and suddenly came across a link to a story about them and then decided to wake the bosses over it.
I believe the Obama campaign and the DNC have been watching since this afternoon. And they put the call into "eswinner" to get those videos down and bury the evidence.
And now "eswinner" has decided to end his short career on YouTube, despite the fact that this was his Best. Day. Eveehhhhh.
Sounds about right. Bloggers are all over this story, I don't believe the mainstream media can ignore it. Obama and Axelrod are well-versed in the "dark arts" of Chicago politics and this smear campaign is just one example. This story won't matter to left-wing, die-hard Obama fans. It should matter to the rest of us.
Here is the video in question. A "quick-thinking watchdog" captured and reposted it on YouTube. I think Michelle Malkin is right:
I highly doubt “eswinner” will dare to send a takedown notice and reveal himself — and the lawyers and money behind him.
The New York Times was shown as the source for the claim that Sarah Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence party. Here is the correction from the Times:
An article on Tuesday about concerns over Senator John McCain’s background check of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, his choice of running mate, misstated the history of her political party affiliation. As The Times has since reported, she has been a registered Republican since 1982; she was not for a couple of years in the 1990s a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, which advocates a vote on whether her state should secede.
Patterico: The Cover-Up Begins:
Shortly after Rusty’s post appeared, the video and related YouTube videos started coming down. Winner’s YouTube profile, that of his father, and several others were closed. This began happening within an hour of the posting of Rusty’s post. Michelle Malkin has the entertaining details, complete with screenshots.
In the criminal law business, we call evidence like that “consciousness of guilt.”
There needs to be follow-up to this story. The connection to the Winners and their PR firm is solid. The evidence tying in Axelrod and Obama is circumstantial but suggestive. The lightning-quick cover-up goes a long way towards convincing me. Now the baton needs to be passed to a media organization that can demand answers from the parties involved, who are unlikely to respond to a bunch of bloggers.
***Update 8:17 PM CT***
Ethan Winner admits he produced the video but claims he's paying for it and he found the voice over artist through a talent agency:
The idea for the video was mine. No one paid me to produce it. The only out-of-pocket cost will be the fee for the voice-over narrator, which I will pay personally when I receive an invoice. Contrary to the allegation in the Jawa Report, the voice-over artist has never done any work for the Obama campaign. I retained her through a talent agency based solely on the quality of her voice.
Winner's complete response can be read at the above link. Ace had a little fun with the salutation and postscript, and adds:
As Commenters Point Out... How is it, exactly, that Ethan Winner found out his homemade, handcrafted, completely DIY video had become the center of internet attention a mere ten minutes after My Pet Jawa posted his article?
Is Ethan Winner, dyed in the wool Democrat, claiming he's a My Pet Jawa fan?
Or an Ace of Spades fan?
If so, why won't he return my emails or phone calls? Dude -- if you're a fan, I totally want to hang with you! We can totally drinks some beers and spread some smears.
You pay for the hookers, of course. You're the rich guy who pays actors to fancy-up his DIY YouTube videos.
And Dude... I guess you're just the unluckiest DIY YouTube video free speech enthusiast alive, given that your voice-over woman sounds exactly like David Axelrod's.
so let me get this straight. His family started to recieve threatening calls and emails 15 minutes after the post? That's record time for the gun carrying bitter americians from Pa. Way to be on the ball folks.
Ummmm... sure, why not.
More to come, no doubt.