Giuliani Hires Media Firm Responsible For Racist Ads
Rudy Giuliani has never been known as the cuddliest of politicians and now he has hired a media team that more than matches his teeth baring personality. Giuliani's new media team is led by Heath Thompson and his Dallas-based firm, Scott Howell & Company. Thompson headed up George Bush's campaign in South Carolina in 2000, but the firm is probably best known for a racist attack ad used against 2006 Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr.
The ad which you can see here plays off of racial stereotypes and the fears of some white people about relationships between Black men and white women. The ad shows a white woman with bare shoulders and not a stitch of clothing in sight saying “I met Harold at the Playboy party.” Later in the ad she says “Harold, call me!”
Judging from Giuliani's tense relationships with the Black and Latino communities when he was mayor of New York City, this seems like a match made in RNC xenophobic heaven.
Scott Howell has quite a bit of experience preying on the fears of (white) voters and using wedge issues to divide, conquer and elect people like Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Jim DeMint and John Thune.
Howell is not only “credited with being the mastermind of the happy, family-guy political ads that helped John Thune unseat Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004, but also is responsible for the so-called 'Hitler' ads that were a factor in the gubernatorial loss last year of death-penalty advocate Jerry W. Kilgore,” Christina Bellantoni wrote July 7, 2006, in the Washington Times.
“Democrats detest him for his role in the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign against presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts in 2004, as well as for ads that helped defeat Sen. Max Cleland, Georgia Democrat, in 2002,” Bellantoni wrote. “Howell was a media consultant for Republican Saxby Chambliss, who defeated Mr. Cleland. Mr. Chambliss ran ads showing photos of Mr. Cleland's face alternating with Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Mr. Howell, who has done work for President Bush, has said he was not responsible for those ads.”
If Giuliani's team will play the race card in such sleazy ways in senate races, imagine what racial and ethnic prejudices they will in a presidential race against Barack Obama or the sexist and most likely anti-gay innuendo that would be thrown at Hillary Clinton.