Right Wing Goes Nuts on Video That Asks: How White is Mitt Romney?
A new satirical video from The Message, released on the eve of Mitt Romney's scheduled address today to the NAACP Convention, has the right-wing blogosphere incensed. The video, you see, unabashedly takes on the Republican Party's -- and Mitt Romney's -- race problem.
In the video, we see four actors, portraying Romney and three advisers, convening in a conference room to strategize what Romney should say to the nation's premier civil rights group.
The lead consultant is depicted as the guy who cooked up the Willie Horton ad (video) from the 1988 presidential campaign, which famously played racial fears against Democrat Michael Dukakis in his contest against Republican George H.W. Bush.
"Blacks don't like us," the consultant character says, "and we're about to give a speech to a whole lot of them."
The other two adviser characters are asked to list Romney's negatives among African Americans as a means of handicapping. One mentions voter ID laws. The other cites the fact that blacks were banned from the priesthood in the Mormon church until 1978 -- when Romney was in his 30s -- and he's not on record as having spoken out against the ban.
This really got under the skin of Mytheos Holt, writing at Glenn Beck's site, The Blaze, who actually seeks to refute the idea that the ban ever existed. (For the real story on the priesthood ban, read Joanna Brooks, writing at her blog, Ask Mormon Girl.)
But what ticked off writers in the right-wing internet action park is the lead consultant's remark to the Romney character: "You are so white -- you are extremely white; you make Wonder Bread look like pumpernickel."
The video is an original production of The Message, a new Web hub that founders Cliff Chenfeld, Eric Burns, Michael Wolfson and Andrew Zipern say on their site was founded out of frustration with the weak messaging of liberals and progressives. The Message is soliciting original videos from its viewership for airing on the site.
Burns is the former president of Media Matters for America; Chenfeld, a co-founder of the Razor & Tie record label; Zipern a former journalist at the New York Times, and Wolfson, the former chief creative officer of AOL. (Full disclosure: I did freelance work for Media Matters for a brief period during Burns' tenure.)
Here's The Message's video.