We haven’t checked the RPA inbox in a while, but when we did we found this gem of an email from the producer of an ad we featured a while back by the Louisiana Democratic Party on Bobby Jindal’s religion. Here’s the ad:
Now here’s what “Dada Films” has to say about the ad (you can see their other ads against Jindal here):
Your website features an ad called ‘Jindal on Religion’ and calls it racist ‘against Indian-American and Asian Americans.’ Please take a look at this ad and I think you’ll agree that this is not a racist ad. There is no mention, implication or subtext of ethnicity or race. The ad is about Jindal’s published comments regarding Protestant religions, which he called ‘scandalous, depraved, utterly selfish and heretical.’
Oh dear, Dada Films. Let’s break this ad down for everyone. You featured an Indian-American face talking about how much he hates Protestants. And yes, he did indeed write those remarks mentioned in the ad.But you failed to mention that Bobby Jindal is Roman Catholic. He wrote those remarks to (in his own deranged way) say that Protestants aren’t hardcore enough as Christians. You didn’t mention race or ethnicity, but you sure did imply that this brown face hates Christians without explaining that he’s also a Christian.
Your sin of omission left people to draw their own opinions about what religion that brown-faced man believes in. It’s some tricky stuff. But that’s why we’re here to break it down for everyone else.
This is one of our favorite “accidentally racist” ads. We get that Dan Adler isn’t trying to be racist, but he just embarrasses himself and really brings out a lot of Asian stereotypes. Talk about the wrong way to talk to voters.
The Los Angeles Times recently published an article about Republican adman Fred Davis and his “regrets” over the perception that he intentionally creates racist political ads designed to provoke controversy. This stems from the major fallout he’s experienced from his memo to Republican super-PAC funder Joe Ricketts - urging him to use Jeremiah Wright as racebait to drag President Barack Obama through the mud. In the memo, he called the President a “metrosexual black Abraham Lincoln.”
The article goes on to explain how Davis has lost 10 pounds and constantly receives death threats, not to mention losing business.
Besides all that, the biggest joke in the article is that Davis claims he’s NOT a racist. Well, anyone can make a claim. But let’s judge the man by his work, not his words. Here are four examples of ads from the mind of Fred Davis (2 of which have previously graced our blog) - you decide whether he’s a racist or not:
1. John McCain: The Unaired Jeremiah Wright ad.
John McCain has been the recipient of racial mudslinging. In 2000, the Bush campaign spread rumors in South Carolina that he had fathered an illegitimate black child. McCain has an adopted daughter from Bangladesh. He refused to let Fred Davis air this ad that blatantly race-baits Jeremiah Wright in order to feed into the paranoia that Barack Obama isn’t “American enough.”
Props to John McCain for having the decency to say no to Fred Davis.
Our Call: Is Fred Davis racist towards blacks? YES.
2. Pete Hoekstra: “Debbie Spenditnow.”
During this year’s Super Bowl, former GOP Michigan congressman Peter Hoekstra aired this ad against incumbent Sen. Debbie Stabenow. The ad created national controversy and unanimous agreement that it was racist. Davis created and aired this ad on the 30th anniversary of the death of Vincent Chin, a Michigan man beat to death by two out-of-work automotive workers during the height of anti-Japanese sentiment in the 1980s.
After initially defending the ad, Hoekstra has since taken down the ad, the microsite and has fired Fred Davis.
Our call: Is Fred Davis racist towards Asians? YES.
3. Tim James: “This is Alabama. We speak English.”
In the 2010 Alabama Governor’s race, little-known GOP candidate Tim James made the rounds on national news and late-night television. Fred Davis helped him create an ad using “English Only” messaging that cloaks blatant hatred of Hispanics. The key line in the ad was “This is Alabama. We speak English.” What did they used to say back in the day? Oh yeah: “This is Alabama. We lynch n******.”
But guess what? Even in Alabama, Tim James lost.
Our call: Is Fred Davis racist towards Hispanics? YES.
4. Jim Inhofe: “Ballerina.”
Back in the 1990’s, Fred Davis got his start in politics by making ads for his uncle, GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe. This is one of those ads. No, it’s not about race, and it doesn’t even blatantly attack gays. But watch it again, and ask yourself what the image of men dancing with each other in ballerina outfits is supposed to provoke in voters. Exactly.
Our call: Is Fred Davis a homophobe? YES.
So, there you have it. Fred Davis can call up every media outlet in America and claim that he’s not a racist. But here are his ads throughout the years. They speak for themselves.