Feingold’s ad used a made up name….so what???

Cue up the right-wing outrage brigade, this time in the form of right-wing squawker Charlie Sykes, thinks it’s newsworthy that Sen. Feingold used a fictional name in his most recent TV ad. However, as Jay Bullock notes over at his place, perhaps Sen. Feingold’s campaign used a made up name in the ad because of possible backlash any real person may get from some on the right:

Consider: How do we even know it’s a fake name? Because as soon as the ad appeared, the right-wing smear machine flew into action to see if they could find this “Elizabeth M. Ackland.” Google searches, Lexus-Nexus searches–Charlie Sykes even went so far as to search cemeteries. This is not just a casual “I wonder who that is” curiosity. This is obsession. So if you want to believe that the motives of people like Charlie Sykes in digging obsessively for information about Ackland were entirely pure, be my guest. But you have to ask yourself: Why were the right wingers so hell-bent on finding Ackland, if she were real? Of what possible use to them would the information be about where she worked? Where she lived? Where her children went to school?

Yeah, scary. When you consider the way that the Charlie Sykes stormtroopers (not a Nazi thing–they embrace that for themselves) treat the personal and professional lives of those of us who are real and do attach our real names to what we do and our support for candidates, it would have been irresponsible for Feingold to subject an innocent person and her family to the hell that was sure to follow.

While some on the right – including Fred Dooley – have tried to dismiss Jay’s argument as being pure fantasy, the fact is some on the right have demonstrated they’re not unwilling to delve into the personal lives of individuals whose names are used by Democratic candidates or elected officials, as demonstrated by the treatment of Graeme Frost and his family after Frost’s name was used in a Democratic Weekly radio address back in 2007. What’s more, I can personally attest to the lengths some on the right are willing to go to delve into someone’s background in order to try and tear that person down, so I think Sen. Feingold’s campaign did the right thing in using a fictional name.

But since we’re on the subject of outrage over the content of political ads, where was the right-wing outrage brigade back in 2008, when Scott Walker, running for yet another term as Milwaukee County Executive, used paid actors in a TV ad, despite his campaign’s assertion that the ad used all “real voters.”

EDIT: Grummps from The Happy Circumstance astutely notes a perfect example of the right suggesting someone “visit” a real person who was used during the 2008 presidential campaign, in the form of a commenter at Badger Blogger.


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17 thoughts on “Feingold’s ad used a made up name….so what???

  1. What’s more, I can personally attest to the lengths some on the right are willing to go to delve into someone’s background in order to try and tear that person down,

    As can I! I had some doofus calling himself the badger blogger delving into mine…..

  2. You act like the only two choices were to use a fake name and get backlash or use a real name and get backlash. Maybe that’s just one of those ideas you come up with that you just don’t use because it won’t work. Real or fake, she was probably only getting a government bureaurcracy job anyway.

    What’s funnier in the ad is the help wanted sign going up in the window. I wonder what Wisconsin’s 10%+ unemployment think of that.

    1. Hey forgot, Ron Johnson used actors to simulate a “real family” moving out of their home…what do you think we should do about it???

  3. Of course Cheap Shot Chuck never misses an opportunity, real or imaginary. I would be that the name thing was an afterthought. No one in production was going to take the time to hunt up some real person for that shot so they staged. They probably figured no one would care. They didn’t reckon on the fake outrage of our little slickster over at 620.

    As for the 2nd poster, probably not too much of a stretch sir to imagine that you would have voted for McCain, which for sure would have been a chance to usher in Herbert Hoover II, only he had a much smarter vice president. It is quite obvious from your comment you don’t follow the news.

  4. And don’t forget Russ is the guy who supposedly wanted full truth and disclosure in campaign ads.

  5. I’ve seen some of the more extreme right wingers post that only certain people should be allowed to vote and that members of the ACLU should be tortured to death. I wouldn’t want my real name out there either, even if most on the right aren’t nearly so extreme.

    1. As usual you guys are missing the point. You are taking the criticsm of the fake name much to literally. Feingold using a fake name in his ad is representative of the fact that there were no real jobs created by whatever he is claiming he did. If the plan he supported dramatically somehow helped lower the unemployment rate there would be no criticsm to be had. But the fact is, he didn’t.

      The character Flo represents actual Progressive representatives. Elizabeth Ackland represents… nothing. See the difference?

      1. I’m not missing your point, but you seem to be missing mine, which is that any “real person” Sen. Feingold used would have no doubt come under scrutiny by folks on the right, as evidenced by the fact that Sykes was all over this in a matter of hours.

        Knowing how the right operates, why would any campaign want to subject a real person to that kind of scrutiny?

        If you honestly believe that there were no real jobs created, hence Sen. Feingold’s use of a fictional name in the ad, then well….I just don’t know what to say.

        1. If there really were real jobs created, surely Feingold’s ad could have found a way to feature them, even without using their names (but yours and others points on here that conservatives would come after any real person featured in an ad with torches and pitchforks is absurd).

          Also, if it was just a prop nameplate, why not use something more obvious like “John Doe” or “Jane Smith.” Why come up with a name that looks real to try to fool people? Aside from that, surely that had to spend a good amount of time coming up with a realistic looking name and researching it to make sure it WASN’T a real person.

  6. Using a real person would have been a good idea, it is just that when Eichenbaum’s agency did the commercial they didn’t think of it. The name plate is just to make the point. There are in fact real jobs that were created by the stimulus. Besides, we could have gotten extra mileage out of the howling lunatics on the right feverishly trying to get at this everyday person. It would have happened because they just can’t control themselves. It would have shocked the independents.

  7. Windy…..To quote Mr. Barrett “show me the names!”. If there are REAL people who’s jobs were “created” by stimulus..then Mr. Feingold shouldn’t have to refer to “REAL” people with made up names. But since he felt it necessary to bolster his claim of job creation, it’s fair game. as for Mr. Johnson’s ad’s it is unquestionably true that people are losing their houses. A further point in Washington state alleged Stimulus jobs were created at a cost of approximately $450,000.00 per job. Not a very good use of taxpayers money. FireFeingold NOW!!

    1. More importantly, let’s make sure “Elizabeth Ackland” doesn’t show up on the voter rolls. We all know no one will be checking her ID.

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