A youtube advert that appears to question Republican Presidential hopeful John Huntsman’s “American Values” has caused quite a splash … and confusion. In the ad, Huntsman, the former US Ambassador to China (and notably, a Republican appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama for the job), speaks Chinese. His face is super-imposed on an image of Chairman Mao Zedong. But the whole thing may have been a scam by a Huntsman supporter to get his candidate more attention before the upcoming New Hampshire primary.
Here is the original video, posted on January 4th:
It was posted on a page called NHforPaul … alluding to New Hampshire and support for candidate Ron Paul. There have already been several thousands of hits for that video, and it has been shown on national television news programs. There was only one video on that site, but there are keyword references to “John Huntsman John2012 Girls John2012Girls” (alluding to Huntsman’s daughters who have been campaigning for him).
Again, this was all on January 4th. But it was first noticed and subsequently flagged by the official Huntsman campaign. Huntsman was immediately on national airwaves denouncing the ad and encouraging Ron Paul to do the same.
Then, the same thing exact ad, on January 6, was posted on a page called NHforSantorum … alluding to candidate Rick Santorum, and at the end asking voters to support him. Again, a new page, with one video. And also, minutes apart on a page called NHforHuntsman … calling on people to vote for Huntsman himself. Again, this page only has one video. Notice here that the multiple pages have been created.
I did a bit of digging and came across a page called Hollywood2NY. Here you can actually hear a male voice speaking in the background while recording (I assume on his mobile phone) this episode of Piers Morgan interviewing CNN’s Huntsman back in November:
Clearly this is someone who is a very defensive Huntsman supporter, and a frequent youtube poster. since his page was created in 2008, the majority of videos have been dedicated to trucks and politics, with a number of them revealing his clear support for Huntsman. That does not necessarily mean he is behind the confusion, though it may be someone like him. It may be that a Huntsman supporter made the video to slander his own candidate and effectively bring Huntsman to national attention. But it could also be that the Paul supporter who made the attack ad is so embarrassed by the backlash it caused that he is trying to confuse the whole process and cover his tracks.
Either way, this all goes to highlight just how quickly the media and the public can be manipulated, and (admittedly) yours truly is included. And I would assume it is not a case that is limited to this issue.
On a separate note, one more political video that’s got the blogosphere going crazy: former Arizona Senator and Republican Presidential candidate John McCain endorsing — accidentally — his 2008 opponent President Barack Obama, instead of current Presidential hopeful and fellow Republican Mitt Romney, the man standing beside him and on whose behalf he is actually campaigning. It’s embarrassment gone viral.
Imagine had McCain actually won four years ago? He may have accidentally given orders to bomb Ireland instead of Iran. Oops.