“Obsession” is not a new perfume, but it sure smells

This past weekend and next weekend, a group called the Clarion Fund — that hardly anybody knows anything about — is distributing a hate DVD against Muslims called “Obsession” in swing states, via the local organ of “liberal media” in each of these states — the newspaper.

Twenty-eight million of these DVDs are being distributed while both running mates of the McCain campaign have blatantly accused Obama of terrorism.  I dunno if you believe in coincidences, but I don’t.

How much does it cost to produce 28 million DVDs, anyway?  And how much would it cost to distribute them as an advertisment in newspapers in over 70 media markets?

That must cost a ton of benjamins.

It’s rather odd, then, that we have no clue who is funding the Clarion Fund.  It’s also funny that these DVDs benefit a McCain campaign when the candidate has been ranting against special interests.  Just last month, McCain said: “It’s over. It’s over. It’s over for the special interests.

The special interests, apparently, don’t believe it’s over for McCain.

Of the little we do know is that individuals unknown, part of a special interest group, have spent millions (possibly tens of millions) of dollars distributing a hate DVD against Muslims.  And at the same time, the McCain campaign is pushing hard to link Obama to terrorism.

And this election supposed to be a democratic?  Are you kidding me?  John McCain has a lot to answer for here because it sure looks like he’s coordinating his attacks on Obama with a speical interest group, and we don’t even know who comprises the membership of the group.  If the same media that’s helping distribute these DVDs doesn’t do some questioning, then I guess we know who they really have the “fix in” for

13 Responses to ““Obsession” is not a new perfume, but it sure smells”

  1. gcotharn says:

    I know the thrust of your post is about McCain and 527s or whatever. However, I wish you would not throw out reckless accusations on the periphery. The McCain Campaign has not accused Obama of terrorism, much less done so “blatantly”. I’ve watched “Obsession”. You have not. “Obsession” is not a “hate DVD.”

  2. tas says:

    Perhaps you need to read the post previous to mine to gauge the McCain campaign’s attitude towards Obama and tying him to terrorism. Then perhaps you can explain to these guys how “Obsession” doesn’t export hate against Muslims — because they certainly have a different viewpoint.

    Seriously, there’s no refutation for this. None. An anonymous, rich as hell special interest group has pumped millions of dollars into this presidential campaign (there’s no way you can’t say this move isn’t political since it specifically targets swing state voters) spreading an anti-Muslim DVD. At the same time, McCain — Mr. “I don’t like special interest groups, really!” McCain — is actively implying that Obama is connected to terrorism. If you think this is a big coincidence, and both the DVD and the accusations of the McCain camp are innocent, then you’re daft. You’re choosing to ignore empirical evidence that goes against your world view.

    If you don’t think that the McCain campaign has a lot to answer for here — for the rank hypocrisy of benefiting from special interest groups, by letting anonymous donors pump millions into what should be a democratically waged campaign — then you’re hopelessly biased.

  3. gcotharn says:


    I read the previous blogpost. I agree with Marc Ambinder that McCain is not responsible for every utterance of his crowds. It is irrefutable that the McCain Campaign has not accused Obama of terrorism.

    The article you linked to at TheAmericanMuslim.org. is sophistry. The author flings a bunch of ethereal accusations which have the weight of … nothing. The article is sophistry which is lighter than air. There is no evidence of anything anti Muslim. There is only logical fallacy.

    I’ve seen the movie. I. Have. Seen. The. Movie. It is not anti-Muslim.

    I hate to make an issue of this, b/c it is peripheral to your true point – which point I am not addressing. But, I want to counter the slander that McCain has said Obama is a terrorist; I want to counter the casual accusation that “Obsession” is anti-Muslim.

  4. tas says:

    So when Palin, the campaign’s official mouthpiece, says that Obama is “paling around with terrorists”, what does that mean? And when she starts using this attack line at the same time a pro-McCain special interest group (the members of which who remain anonymous) sends out Obsession DVDs to swng state voters, what does that say?

    As far as Obsession not being anti-Muslim — suppose somebody made the same kind of movie about Catholics, tying the terrorist activities of the IRA together with their Catholic supporters in thhe United States. Do you think that most Catholics wouldn’t be offended?

    Puh-lease — on all accounts.

    We have audience members at McCain rallies — official campaign rallies, where the highest campaign officials speak, mind you — shouting out things like Obama is a “terrorist” and wishes to “kill him”, while the McCain camp attempts to link Obama to terror, and they don’t even give these supporters a slap on the wrist.

    If you don’t see any connections here, then like I said before, you’re daft. I’m not continuing this conversation untl you notice some empirical evidence. As is, you refuse to even notice the rank hypocrisy of McCain coordinating with a special interest group to launch these attacks. You’re too biased towards McCain to see the truth of what’s happening.

    And supporting these kind of campaign activities is pretty shameful.

  5. Kathy says:

    I agree with Marc Ambinder that McCain is not responsible for every utterance of his crowds. It is irrefutable that the McCain Campaign has not accused Obama of terrorism.

    Actually, given that both McCain and Palin have been accusing Obama of having close associations with terrorists, and repeating those accusations, which are utterly groundless, at every opportunity, I think both of them *do* bear some responsibility for the sort of crowds that attend his rallies. Their words and actions attract that kind of individual — and I would argue that the sheer vileness of McCain/Palin’s accusations and choice of words bring out behavior that would not otherwise come out — although it might lurk underneath the surface. People have inhibitions and control mechanisms that allow them to know what is acceptable to say and what isn’t. In this particular speech we are discussing, McCain was the inhibition-lowering equivalent of several good stiff drinks.

    Having said this, even if it’s legitimate to say that McCain “is not responsible for every utterance of his crowd,” he is certainly responsible for his response. McCain *said nothing* in response to that shout of “terrorist!” That was a deliberate choice, and it stinks.

  6. tas says:

    Having said this, even if it’s legitimate to say that McCain “is not responsible for every utterance of his crowd,” he is certainly responsible for his response. McCain *said nothing* in response to that shout of “terrorist!” That was a deliberate choice, and it stinks.

    Adding to this, it’s also hypocritical for McCain not to denounce this in a campaign season where Obama has been asked why he did not immediately denounce things said by his now former pastor.

  7. gcotharn says:

    I note your points. They are well thought out. You and I just disagree.

    I argue that everyone with sense knows Obama is not a terrorist. This eliminates the need for McCain to specifically counter such yahoos. McCain’s entire campaign has countered the yahoo via not calling Obama a terrorist. Six months of action obviate the need for specific extemporaneous response. That’s a lot of syllables to say: I disagree! 🙂

    I agree the crowd was thirsty for the red meat McCain was giving them; you could sense it in the timing and volume of their applause. But, when you mention “McCain/Palin’s accusations”, it’s fair to keep in mind those “accusations”: Obama collaborated with a terrorist have the benefit of being true. McCain’s crowds are frustrated that media allow Barack to remain a cipher and a . They want this truth about Barack to be known, either:

    1) Barack used bad judgment
    2) Barack cravenly used a terrorist to advance his career
    3) Barack is sympathetic to some of Ayers’ radical politics.

    Barack’s original argument: just a guy in my neighborhood, was a lie. His new argument: Naivete! I didn’t know!, is also incredible. The crowd wants truth. Media are not providing truth; Barack is not providing truth; the crowd thirsts for truth from McCain/Palin.


    It might be that McCain and 527/interest groups/whoever are collaborating to dump DVDs onto porches. I have not addressed that issue, but I freely concede that might be true. Might. There is no evidence to prove it.

    McCain cannot control 527s unless they choose to be controlled and he chooses to control. This could be an idea hatched by anyone, including someone who knew of a stock of almost worthless Obsession DVDs which were not being purchased and which could be acquired for a song.

    Your argument: McCain is calling Obama a terrorist, hinges on a speculative collaboration and a resulting inference about Obama. Anything is grist for speculation, yet this is unfit to blatantly assert as truth. To say McCain is calling Obama a terrorist amounts to slander.

    Do I suspect the dispensing of those DVDs at this time is political? Yes, I strongly suspect that. But there’s no evidence of collaboration on McCain’s part.

    Re Obsession
    “Obsession” is interesting b/c it goes where politically correct media will not go. If media were truly reporting on the Islamist movement, “Obsession” would have no material to put into a movie. Media would have already saturated the information into the public domain.

    The guys at TheAmericanMuslim.org use political correctness as a weapon to ward off uncomfortable truth. When “Obsession” smashes through the PC barrier and unapologetically draws attention to little reported fact, TheAmericanMuslim.org guys squeal. We see the same dynamic occurring – about many of the same fact sets – in the outrage and the fatwa of death directed at Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She also smashed through the PC barrier and drew attention to little reported facts. Now she is on the run.

    I’m all for grace. But there’s a difference between refraining from name calling (“towelhead”) and refraining from speaking relevant or even potentially relevant fact. Political correctness is too often used as a bludgeon to ward inquisitors away from relevant or possibly relevant information which deserves examination.

    Re IRA comparison
    Both Catholics and Muslims have a right to be offended by any mischaracterization of fact, and I will raise my voice with them in protest.

  8. gcotharn says:

    I want to be clearer about one point:

    I suspect the dumping of DVDs on porches was politically motivated.

    I suspect McCain is not involved.

    The two things are separate: the dumping can be politically motivated – and can even hurt Barack – without McCain knowing about it or being involved.

    Now, all of us have only suspicion and speculation. I freely assert that McCain could be involved, and the entire DVD dump + “collaborating with a terrorist!” thing could be designed as a synergistic strategy. That could be true. It’s just that I would bet the other way.

  9. Kathy says:

    But, when you mention “McCain/Palin’s accusations”, it’s fair to keep in mind those “accusations”: Obama collaborated with a terrorist have the benefit of being true.

    That accusation is not true. And that’s the entire point. If it *were* true that Obama had, in actual fact, “collaborated” with a terrorist, that man’s shout-out might have been somewhat understandable. It’s precisely the fact that Obama has NOT “collaborated” with a terrorist that makes John McCain’s public accusations that he did “collaborate” with a terrorist so heinous — because in making that false accusation, McCain is *encouraging* the kind of response that man in the crowd made.

    And as for you, gcotharn, I think this might be the most vile statement you have made on this blog yet — and that’s saying a lot. I don’t think even John McCain has used the word “collaborate” although clearly that’s what he means. There really are no words I can come up with that adequately convey my disgust at your disregard for the truth and, indeed, for even the most elementary sense of fairness and common decency.

  10. gcotharn says:

    Hmmm, would you agree this statement is accurate:

    “Obama collaborated with a former terrorist.”

  11. tas says:

    There really are no words I can come up with that adequately convey my disgust at your disregard for the truth and, indeed, for even the most elementary sense of fairness and common decency.

    I can think of a few profanities, but spewing them just isn’t worth it. The problem with debating gcotharn is that you can’t debate a robot. A few years ago, I had a rightwing sparring partner at Wizbang and when I made good points, he would coincide at that point. Likewise, I would too. It doesn’t mean we changed each other’s minds on issues, but when I.. For an example of one debate, when I pointed out that if the GOP succeeds in making abortions illegal, they have absolutely no plan to protect women who would try to get illegal abortions and either receive injury or fatal wounds — therefore Republican policy could lead to deaths of women — he coincided. It didn’t change his views on abortion, but he had to admit that I had a point.

    I’ve never seen such concession from gcotharn in any comment thread here. Ever. He takes any point made and either outright refutes it or tries splitting hairs with it. For example in this thread, the McCain campaign has never called Obama a terrorist, he claims. It reminds me of wingers trying to say that Bush never said “Mission Accomplished” because he never said it during his speech — there was just a huge as fuck banner behind him with the words “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” stretching the length of a goddamn football field, but Bush never “said” it! Likewise here, McCain ans his cohorts keep on saying that Obama is connected to terrorists, “pals around with terrorists”, yadda yadda yadda.. But McCain never “said” it. They’ve got to be kidding us with this crap.

    At the same time of the McCain campaign’s full court press to wed Obama with terrorism, a pro-McCain 527 who are anonymous and apparently rich as hell press 28 million DVDs of a hate documentary called “Obsession” and send them to only swing state voters. All gcotharn can muster about this is that the 527 action might be political. Might? Pshaw!

    gcotharn is a GOP talking point robot. There is no debating him since the only arguments he accepts are the ones which fit into his narrow world view.

  12. gcotharn says:


    Given that these DVDs are going to states thought to be swing states: PN, OH, FL, MI(heh), NC, CO, it is fair and accurate to say the DVD drop is politically motivated. I was being too careful when I said “I suspect this is politically motivated”.

    Re: Obama is a terrorist.

    WHO IN THE ENTIRE DANGED WORLD WOULD BELIEVE THIS? Some dude in a cabin in the woods? Maybe? A snake handler is a humid and hot church? No one except extreme fringe type persons would ever believe Obama is a terrorist.

    McCain is branding Obama as someone with poor judgment to work with a former terrorist, and as someone who shares Ayers radical type beliefs – such as Ayers “hatred” (Ayers word) for capitalism. No one is branding Obama as a terrorist, because that is ridiculous.

  13. gcotharn says:

    correction: PA, not PN


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