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Posted on October 5th, 2008 by robertgreenwald - Comments -

I was in a deep conversation with some Brave New Films supporters recently.  They were enthusiastic about the value of our videos in spreading the truth and motivating support, but they kept asking, “How do you reach people who don’t agree with you?”  Seems like a good time to explain why we ask you to forward the videos, Digg them, and encourage people to get their own free Brave New Films video subscription.  Before the attacks of the next debate, it is critical to get this information to as many people as possible.

Every day, our 20 videos on John McCain are seen by several hundred thousand people searching and browsing the Internet for information on McCain.  They are literally typing in “john mccain” into Google, where our video is the #4 result.  The same search on YouTube yields several more videos from The Real McCain series, which will only increase in the coming weeks.  So far, these videos have received over 11 million views.

Think about it, if you didn’t know much about John McCain, what would you do?  Probably two things.  Type “john mccain” into Google, and ask your friends what they think.

That’s where YOU come in.  When you get an e-mail from us with our latest video, what happens in the next 24 hours determines how far the video will reach outside the audience who would typically watch it. The more views on the video, the higher it goes on YouTube’s most viewed pages, seen by 60 million people a month.  The more people who Digg it-a critical tool to reach those outside the choir-the better chance we have of getting on the Digg homepage, which is seen by 20 million people a month.

Every time we get on these top pages, we get tens of thousands of additional views from people who might otherwise have watched a cat playing the piano, a magic ping pong ball, or a pretty woman falling in the shower.  We estimate that getting on the Digg homepage generates an additional 30,000-50,000 viewers.  The YouTube most viewed page alone can add another 100,000 views!

Anything you do that increases the number of views helps.  Posting on your blog, on Facebook, on MySpace, sending emails, leaving comments on other sites, and Digging it. The important thing to understand is it’s not just the people who view it that we reach, it’s the ripple effect those views have, pushing our videos higher up Google, YouTube, Digg, and all over the Internet.  And that ripple effect extends months and even years down the road.

That #4 result on Google is a video we put out in February of 2007!  70,000 people watched it last week.  Yes, it would be easier to spend millions of dollars on TV ads, but that is not what we do.  Think about the difference in watching a video that has been sent to you by someone you know, versus skipping through a TV ad.  What a difference in impact!

And when you get your friends to subscribe to the free Brave New Films video subscription, they become true force multipliers by sending to people who agree, who watch, who motivate, who send to others, and help us reach many people who don’t agree with us.

So, help us get the word out about McCain now before the next debate.  Below are four videos that explain McCain’s stances on four crucial issues: the environment, the economy, tax cuts, and abortion.  Let’s get that ripple effect going now by spreading these to everyone you know and getting them on blogs and sites like Digg.

1. McCain’s Green Economy: Drill, Baby, Drill:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3ecA2L-VuQ

2. John McCain: Economic Disaster:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4egXbhSOhk

3. Why the Rich Love McCain’s Tax Plan:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwtayJCK5LY

4. The REAL McCain is anti-choice:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAAYxCCT-Bg

Help increase the number who know the facts, and reach those who don’t.  Now is the time

Posted on October 3rd, 2008 by ZP Heller - Comments -

John McCain had the nerve to go on Scarborough and joke that he’s “not a rich man.”  That’s rich!

Now, I know McCain can’t remember just how many homes he owns, and I know McCain thinks being rich means having at least $5 million, but I had no idea McCain didn’t consider himself wealthy.  I mean, check out this mansion the McCains are selling if you want a better idea of how ridiculously affluent they are.

McCain’s definition of “rich” calls into question his understanding of the middle and lower classes in our country. With so many people facing economic hardships and the class gap increasing by the moment, McCain needs to stop joking about what it means to have so much wealth.

Posted on October 1st, 2008 by thejedreport - Comments -

Just when you thought the whole “I can see Russia from Alaska” thing couldn’t get any funnier…CNN’s Gary Tuchman delivers the goods: it turns out that Sarah Palin has never seen Russia from Alaska.

Tuchman went up to the part of Alaska from which you can actually see Russia, a remote island called Little Diomede located just 2.4 miles from it’s Russian twin, Big Diomede.

It turns out Gary Tuchman’s trip to Little Diomede sets him apart from Sarah Palin — because she’s never actually been there, nor has she set eyes on its neighbor in Russia.

Tuchman says that only 150 people live on Little Diomede, and that the town of Diomede has no streets and no cars. The poverty rate is over 40%, there is no television, and the only practical way to reach it is by helicopter. Anchorage (near Palin’s hometown) is 550 miles away.

No Alaskan governor has ever visited Little Diomede, though indicted U.S. Senator Ted Stevens has made the trip. The town’s residents barely knew who Palin was, and one of them didn’t know she was the VP nominee.

It’s going to be fun watching McCain-land spin this one, and it’s going to be even more fun watching Tina Fey parody it.

Posted on October 1st, 2008 by NCDem Amy - Comments -

During an interview with the Des Moines Register, John McCain became defensive and played the POW card when asked if he’s always had taxpayer financed health care coverage.  “There was a time in my life where the healthcare was not so good,” McCain stated, referring to his time as a POW.

McCain opposes universal health care, taxpayer financed, that would cover all Americans.

As TPM reveals, McCain hid behind the POW card throughout this interview.  And click here for more on how McCain has been overplaying the POW card to skirt the issues, and how his POW experience alone does not qualify him to lead.

Posted on September 30th, 2008 by ZP Heller - Comments -

John McCain does not have the ability to fix this economic crisis.  After declaring the fundamentals of the economy strong, he created a political circus in Washington last week by mucking up bailout negotiations; a deplorable stunt, considering he and his political cronies helped cause the current meltdown.

It was McCain and his economic adviser Phil Gramm who pushed for the deregulation that helped lead to the banking crisis, and it was McCain’s crony Rick Davis who had deep lobbyist ties to Freddie Mac.  Don’t let others be fooled by McCain’s economic grandstanding because the reality is his policies and principles will only exacerbate our financial hardships.  That’s why you must spread this video.

McCain is being deceitful with his sudden populist message and support for regulation; his economic policies still favor our nation’s wealthy elite.  Call out McCain’s economic dishonesty.  Send this video to friends and ask them to sign up for a free Brave New Films video subscription to know the latest on TheRealMcCain.com.  Then, post it on your blogs and spread it on networking sites like Digg and Reddit.  These are some of the best ways to reach people who are not following this debate closely.

Let’s make sure everyone knows McCain can’t get us out of the mess he got us into in the first place

Posted on September 29th, 2008 by NCDem Amy - Comments -

On This Week, John McCain again lied about his campaign manager, Rick Davis, accepting payments from Freddie Mac. McCain repeated his claim that Rick Davis has not accepted payments from Freddie Mac in two years when in fact, Davis’s firm was being paid $15,000 per month from the end of 2005 until last month, August 2008, as reported by the NY Times and Newsweek.

Posted on September 29th, 2008 by ZP Heller - Comments -

When over 2,500 doctors come forward, urging John McCain to provide full public disclosure of his medical records, it warrants national discussion.  McCain severely limited access to his medical records back in May (20 reporters had only 3 hours to review 1,173 pages without any cameras, cell phones, or photocopying), giving rise to serious doubts about his already questionable health history.  His secrecy and evasiveness were eerily reminiscent of the egregious dishonesty and manipulation of information we’ve seen from the Bush administration for the past eight years.

That’s why Brave New PAC followed up on Brave New Films’ initial video about McCain’s health records by creating its own ad featuring two of the 2,500 doctors; they wanted to alert the public to the concerns of these medical experts and stress the importance of this issue.  But so far, the possibility of having a frank discussion about McCain’s health records has been hampered by attacks from the right and corporate media censorship.

Soon after Brave New PAC and Democracy for America launched their ad, the right countered by unleashing attack hounds like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.  These are two of the most contemptible, bloviating shock jocks on the air.  They have attacked Barack Obama with lies and hate and bigotry, not to mention the other liberals they have slandered in the past, and their smears have spread like a virus to other mainstream outlets, warping public opinion.  And yet they have the gall to go after Brave New PAC and Democracy for America with a holier-than-thou attitude!

O’Reilly used the ad to continue his assault on NBC, and he also brought in Megyn Kelly to label the ad a “personal, vile attack on McCain.”  Kelly, of course, is an expert on personal attacks, considering she recently ran a segment on FOX that referred to Michelle Obama as “Obama’s Baby Mama.”

But while it’s easy to dismiss the right’s blatant hypocrisy, their cries actually resulted in MSNBC removing Brave New PAC’s ad.  There were concerns about the ad’s content, particularly some of the more graphic images of McCain’s scars from melanoma treatments-ironic considering those pictures came from CNN, which aired them many many times earlier this year.  CNN refused to run the ad on similar grounds.

This is censorship at its most dangerous and disheartening.  How can the public dissuss this crucial issue when MSNBC won’t run the Brave New PAC ad or bring the doctors who have signed the open letter on to express their concerns about McCain’s health records?  And how can MSNBC legitimize O’Reilly and Limbaugh’s objections by refusing to air Brave New PAC’s factual ad, but gladly pass along the right’s distortions as they have in the past?

By pulling the ad, MSNBC comes across as more concerned with its own image to advertisers than having a substantive discussion of election-related issues.  And both MSNBC and CNN’s actions further reinforce the need for a healthy, vibrant blogosphere capable of shedding light on subjects the corporate press is unwilling to touch.

As Bob Ewegen wrote in an Op-Ed for the Denver Post, “The health of anyone running for the job we call ‘leader of the free world’ is very much the public’s business.” The public ought to have the full facts and be able to talk freely about a candidate’s physical abilities to lead.  What’s more, the public has every right to cry foul when a candidate has clearly gone out of his way to keep us in the dark about his checkered health history, and the corporate press has attempted to keep any discussion about this under wraps.

What does McCain have to hide?  And what do these networks stand to lose by having an honest, open conversation about McCain’s health records?  As Amy Poehler joked when she played Hillary Clinton on the premiere of Saturday Night Live, “I invite the media to grow a pair.  And if you can’t, I will lend you mine.”

Posted on September 25th, 2008 by ZP Heller - Comments -

From Politico’s Ari Melber:

John McCain, like everyone else, will die someday.

Unlike the rest of us, however, he could die in the White House, where he would be 80 at the end of two terms. So it’s rather surprising that as the general election hits the homestretch, the McCain campaign has effectively squashed efforts by journalists, medical experts and the political class to fully examine his medical records.

The most recent review of McCain’s records cannot be described as independent or thorough. In May, the campaign gave a limited group of reporters only three hours to review thousands of documents. Aside from the time limit, the selected reporters were “ensconced” in a cone of silence, as CNN reported. The campaign banned the use of cell phones or e-mail for journalists, who might have consulted with experts while assessing the medical information. It’s not clear why so many news outlets consented to such terms.

A little access went a long way for the McCain campaign.

The cone of silence document review spawned articles reporting that McCain was not only healthy but also “cancer-free,” as The Boston Globe put it. Reporters who reviewed the records and testimonials from his doctors also indicated that McCain’s cancer, thankfully, had not recurred since a melanoma operation in 2002.

However, there were also diverging accounts of how long McCain had been cancer-free. The AP reported that he “had an early-stage squamous cell carcinoma, an easily cured skin cancer, removed” in February.

Some independent doctors say that even if McCain is perfectly healthy, the three-hour cone of silence review was insufficient.

“It certainly would have helped the reporters’ review if they could have had access to expert opinion while they had access to the medical records,” Dr. Daniel Vlock said.

“At the very least, it would seem that the press should have been afforded the same type of review an outside physician would expect — unhindered access and the ability to consult with experts,” added Vlock, a former melanoma clinic director who advocates a full, “updated” review of McCain’s records.

Of course, no one doubts McCain’s personal tenacity, from braving torture to overcoming cancer.

Yet plenty of nonpartisan observers doubt his credibility.

McCain’s recent repetition of falsehoods and lies on the campaign trail have drawn corrections from independent experts (The Annenberg Public Policy Center), news organizations (The Washington Post) and even conservative allies (Bill O’Reilly, Karl Rove).

Now, just because the McCain campaign lies about lipstick and earmarks, that doesn’t mean the campaign is lying about his personal health. But many politicians do hide their medical problems.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, Democratic candidate Paul Tsongas downplayed the cancer that would soon take his life. His doctors “first said he was free of all cancer,” as The New York Times explained in November 1992, but after he dropped out of the race, they did “acknowledge” he had experienced a relapse. “It would be wise to require all presidential candidates to make their full medical records available for evaluation to an independent panel,” the Times editorialized, or to ensure “all serious candidates … undergo examination by independent experts.”

McCain, along with the other candidates, should provide all of his medical records for complete, independent review. No time limits. No cone of silence. No exceptions.

Americans should not hold McCain’s age against him — I really don’t think they will — and if he has nothing to hide, an independent review will only fortify his argument that he is not only healthy but also candid about his health. Barack Obama’s aides have been careful on this topic, and it’s hard to imagine them using the records for trumped-up complaints.

Yet if McCain continues to withhold his most recent medical records, these legitimate questions will fester. In May, much of the media were easily intimidated. By September, many of the same beat reporters were indignant at the McCain campaign’s deceit and overbearing press management. By October, they might even call some doctors who aren’t on McCain’s payroll.

Finally, there’s the politics. The Obama campaign praises McCain’s service and rarely raises the issue of his medical records. Yet other groups are dialing up the pressure.

Brave New Films, the liberal firebrands behind “OutFoxed,” just launched a viral campaign pressing McCain to release his records. More than 2,000 doctors and 45,000 people have already signed a petition backing the effort.

Sen. Chuck Schumer recently weighed in, declaring that “when you’re running for president, everything should be public, including your full medical records.” Majority Leader Harry Reid added that McCain owes the public “total transparency” about his records. Both senators were speaking in response to interviews with the blog OpenLeft, which is pressing the issue along with MoveOn.

Finally, if McCain keeps stonewalling, at the coming presidential debates any moderator worth his makeup will be asking why McCain won’t come clean and release all of his medical records.

McCain won’t have a good answer, because there is no good reason to deny people this basic information as they weigh whether to make him the leader of the free world. If McCain doesn’t feel any duty to be straight with the public during the pressure of a campaign, don’t count on his being any more open, candid or honest if he’s elected.

Posted on September 25th, 2008 by ZP Heller - Comments -

John McCain canceled his appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” yesterday.  He claimed it was part of the plan to suspend his campaign in order to return to Washington and “fix the economy”-a desperate move considering McCain was slipping in the polls in the last few days over an economic crisis his campaign helped cause, not to mention the fact that McCain has spent so little time actually voting in Congress recently.

But as it turned out, a funny thing happened to McCain on the way to the airport because he turned up for an interview with CBS’s Katie Couric.  Relentless mocking ensues!

Posted on September 24th, 2008 by thejedreport - Comments -

Here’s a new video taking a look at John McCain’s Keating Five problem in just 97 seconds.

The video combines archival footage of CBS and NBC News (including a report from Andrea Mitchell!) with reporting by CNN’s John King aired just last month.

The bottom-line is that two decades after his role in the savings and loan crisis, John McCain is still the same old guy, more focused on deregulation than on delivering the sensible protections we need.

Progressive Accountability has much more on the Keating Five scandal, including its similarities to the current economic crisis.

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Robert Greenwald
director/producer/activist
produced/directed Iraq for Sale
ZP Heller
editorial director
Brave New Films
Jonathan Kim
story producer/blogger
FOX Attacks