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October 21, 2010

Just Telling You Up Front, This Attack Ad Is NOT About Barney Frank Being Homosexual

Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times
Gretchen Ertl for The New York Times

Looking at this picture, are you telling me this soon-to-be-launched web ad attacking Barney Frank has nothing to do with Rep. Frank being gay?  (Frank might be vulnerable to attack in all kinds of ways, but to frame him as “dancing around the issues” when, as his spokesperson emphasized, Frank is primarily known for his directness, raises flags everywhere.)

So, let’s wait to see if the “dancing Barney” really does play on gay stereotypes.  In the meantime, though, this screen shot from the NYT video story (maybe they’ve broken  ground here on a new genre — “the making of a campaign video attack ad”?) seems to go there directly, suggesting that inside Mr. Frank’s exceeding large suit is a dancing girl.

NYT article: Rival Gives Frank Some Unflattering New Steps

  • Wayne Dickson

    Does Frank deny being gay? No.
    Does Frank dance around the issues? No.
    Does Frank waffle when challenged by specifics? No.
    Does Frank waste time arguing with dining room tables? No.

    So where can nutcases attack him? Oh, I get it. They don’t like his dance moves.

    I’m OK with that. Will I support an honest, straightforward guy who’s presented in a hostile ad as “dance-move challenged”? Oh, yeah! Will I be more likely to support that guy if he’s being attacked by fact-free bigots? Of course. Will I support him because he’s smarter, better educated, and vastly more experienced than his opponent?

    In a comment on Huff-Po, I wrote scornfully about arguments ad hominem. But, once again, for the record, I affirm that I don’t care a flying fedorkah about the sexual orientation of politicians. I think it’s totally irrelevant. And I don’t care about their dance moves either.

  • Stella

    Does the Ad Man have anything to sell?
    Does he care about the candidate?
    Does he have a virus to spread? Then let’s avoid him.

    Did The NYT ever have any dignity?
    Is Barney Frank worried? I’m not.

  • Sheila A. Leavitt

    Please watch SEAN BIELAT, conservative Republican congressional wanna-be (and inept Congressman Barney Frank basher), as he does the Big Money, Tea Party Shuffle. SEE IT HERE:

    Read article below (with hat-tip to the N Y Times, October 21, 2010: Behind the Scenes as Barney Frank’s Rival Films an Ad –
    Big Money Gives Sean Bielat, Congressional Wanna-Be, Some Unflattering New Steps

    U.S Congressional wanna-be Sean Bielat was dancing around the stage – boogying to Chris Brown’s “Gimme Dat.” Although in this case, the “dat” in question was actually NOT the . . . bass but the brass. And Mr. Bielat, in this case, was not a dance instructor named Kira (dressed in a makeshift fat suit), but a cardboard marionette named Llazo pretending to be the fresh faced and plausible Biz-school grad and ex-Marine Sean Bielat, as he flipped and shook his way across a hastily-erected piano-stool stage, before a makeshift screen of orange polar fleece and black felt, in a kitchen in Brookline MA.
    Llazo (who did not want his last name used because he is made from a local pizza box and doesn’t want to be associated with any particular candidate) had gathered with two Boston-area women “of a certain age” who started making political ads this election cycle (today, actually), to counter the Big Money astroturfing they perceive in the making of a “$10,000 – $15,000” ad such as that Mr. Ehlinger has produced for Mr. Bielat . (These women stress that they are not connected with, paid by, nor endorsed by any political candidate, political party, or special interest group — although their studio is now “open for business, should the right candidate come calling.” They are quite sure that their efforts would “catapult [their client] to online stardom, attract more mainstream news media coverage and donations, and bring him closer to a seat in Congress”).
    The premise of their spot was simple enough — Mr. Bielat “is dancing around the money all the way to the polls,” so you “take the political cliché of he’s dancing around the Big Bucks and you literally have him dancing around the bags of dough,” one of the women explained — but it took a trip to the garbage can (to make a cardboard puppet befitting a politician), a stop at a nearby Kinko’s (to make copies of the faces of political operatives Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck, as well as that of Mr. Bielat) and finding a good video editor (“can work for free, in own kitchen, in under two hours,” read the email seeking applicants) before they were ready to go.
    After the video was shot, the women planned to use the “Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Karl Rove” tea bags to brew a pot of tea — but they were “too, uh, revolting,” admitted one of the women.
    On a recent Friday (today, actually), one of these women found herself in striped knee socks and an orange Talbot’s twin-set (not the color of her eyes, fortunately) striding around a makeshift screen to prepare for the day’s shoot.
    “Actually, turn the de-humidifier up as high as you can because he’ll be dancing in a cardboard suit with Scotch Tape on top of that,” one woman said, referring to Llazo, who was waiting in the trunk of her car. “It will be very uncomfortable, I think, if he gets damp and goes limp.”
    “This is the Tea Party Shuffle danced to Chris Brown’s ‘Gimme Dat’,” the twin-set-clad woman noted, as loud bouncy music began blaring from the other room. She was referring to the three-and-a-half minute song they had borrowed especially for the video, where text about the shadowy sources of money funding Mr. Bielat’s “independent” campaign scrolled across the screen as “Sean Bielat” (aka Llazo) gyrated to a funky beat.
    The plan was to get “Mr. Bielat” in and out as quickly as possible. He did a few more takes — turned to the side, angled away from the camera, a close-up on his upper body — before it was time for “Karl Rove”, “Sarah Palin”, et al, to take the stage. A sound gal cranked the music up and “Sarah P.” strutted in, all baggy funk and flip-flop moves
    “Mr. Bielat’s” line, to appear at the end of the taping, was supposed to go something like: “I don’t need to dance around the issues. I’m a Marine.” But “Mr. Bielat” said he did not feel comfortable linking his military service to a political ad in a way that felt “like a non sequitur,” so he improvised. Just “GIMMMMMMEEEEE DAT!” “Sean” begged his would-be constituents. And folded.

  • momly

    I’m showing my age, but I immediately thought of David Byrne and The Talking Heads who did the big suit SO MUCH BETTER.

  • Sheila Leavitt

    Watch Sean Bielat do the Big Money Boogie HERE:

    Sean Bielat can “distance himself from both Palin and the Tea Party” until the cows come home, but he is definitely NOT refusing their money (HTTP://WWW.BOSTON.COM/NEWS/POLITICS/POLITICALINTELLIGENCE/2010/10/LITTLE-KNOWN_PA.HTML — see full text below).
    Like Mr. Brown, Bielat is running a canny race in a traditionally liberal district, and dancing both partners in the Tea Party/mainline conservative Republican dance.
    Of course Sean can’t do the loudmouth, xenophobic, homophobic Tea Party thing, not overtly anyway. He knows to lay it between the lines in Newton and Brookline, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, “wouldn’t want them to think that I’m a homophobe.”
    But fooled-you-twice-like-Scott-Brown if you think Bielat is anything but an unemployed ex-marine with a string of letters from fancy institutions behind his name, no record to examine, no closet to empty — fresh-faced and unblemished, just the way the Rove puppet masters like ‘em. That “Bielat money bomb’? All “grassroots contributions?” Don’t make me laugh. He’s just another Bush-guy with strings to the plutocracy that is busily buying up our “democracy,” using the anger and (I’ll say it) stupidity of the Tea Party “little people” to give the thing a populist face. What dupes!
    Little-known PAC funds campaign to defeat Barney Frank and Jim McGovern
    E-mail | Print | Comments (37) Posted by Stephanie Vallejo October 22, 2010 02:07 PM
    By Farah Stockman, Globe Staff
    A little-known political action committee called “Western Representation” is funding the campaign to defeat Barney Frank of Newton and Rep. Jim McGovern, of Worcester.
    The group’s web site does not list contact information, and its source of funding and political backing could not immediately be determined.
    According to the group’s Web site, it is also funding campaigns to unseat Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, and moderate Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
    Harry Gural, a spokesman for Frank, said the group has put $200,000 into the two Massachusetts races. He said fears of a quick infusion of money from Tea Party supporters and others from around the country convinced Frank to loan his campaign $200,000 to counter a last-minute push.

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