So: someone purporting to be a Ron Paul supporter posted a terrifically vile and bigoted anti-Huntsman advertisement, implying that he is a Manchurian candidate and un-American because he can speak Chinese, spent time in China and (portrayed as particularly ominous) has a daughter adopted from China.
Apologies for lack of links; still too new. Google anti-Huntsman video for links to stories about it.
After my heart rate dropped and the blood stopped rushing in my ears, I thought about it a bit more and checked and saw that the Huntsman campaign had condemned it (obviously) and that the Paul campaign had disavowed it and condemned it in very strong terms. (Of course, it’s Ron Paul, so maybe someone on his staff writing in his name did it and he just didn’t review it before it went out under his name and STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS IT’S LONG AGO, etc.)
I don’t think for a second anyone senior in the Paul campaign approved it; that’s suicidal. But I’m about 50/50 on whether this was (a) a racist Paul supporter or (b) someone ratfucking Paul.
What’s more I don’t know how we find out. Absent YouTube giving up subscriber information (which they should not), or absent the person who posted it being very careless with usernames or other data, it’s effectively untraceable. So Huntsman gets a sympathetic news cycle (and a few hundred votes, maybe), Paul gets a negative news cycle that renews talks about his racial attitudes.
So. In an era when anyone with meager skills can make what looks sort of like a lame campaign ad and throw it on YouTube, how do you deal with this? Educate the media so they don’t report it breathlessly as if it means much of anything? I think questions about Paul’s racial attitudes are perfectly legitimate, but whatever the source of this nasty piece of work, it’s a distraction from more fruitful discussions.