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About Those Palin Smear Video Story

Rusty Shackelford over at Jawa Report has taken the lead on exposing the man behind an anti-Palin smear video named Ethan Winner.

The video, relying on unfactual reporting from the New York Times, said Sarah Palin was a member of a anti-American, seperatist group that wanted Alaska to cede from the union. The NYT erroneously reported this earlier this year and later retracted it..

Winner, who is employed by a bigwig LA-based advertising firm named Winner and Associates, made the video long after the NYT clarified their story, posted it online and shopped it around to a bunch of liberal blogs.

Rusty wanted to find out who was behind it. As soon as Ethan was traced to the smear video, Ethan started taking down the video, deleting his YouTube account and taking other action to lower his online profile.

Rusty kept pushing it on his blog. He found out that Ethan's employer, Winner and Associates, had a link to the Obama campaign. The firm worked with Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod, ten years ago on a campaign funded by casino investors to build more casinos in Detroit. 

Around this point Ethan sent out a statement statement, saying the video was NOT done on behalf of Winner and Associates and  he did it on his own in his free time. This is a little suspicious because he hired a voice over narrator with his own money to make a video. It wasn't something he just ginned up in a few minutes. It was professional grade.

The Obama campaign made a statement as well, blaming the accusations on the McCain campaign (wrong, it was independent conservative bloggers) and denying the whole thing.

Jawa doesn't buy any of it.

I emailed Ethan earlier today to tell him we were going to do a segment about this on the O'Reilly Factor tonight and I got a statement from Winner and Associates in return.

It said:
"It has been alleged by Fox News and a blogger that our firm may have "ties" to David Axelrod, the media advisor to the Obama campaign.  That allegation is completely false.  No member of the firm, including Ethan Winner, has a relationship with Axelrod, and no member of the firm has had direct or indirect contact, with Axelrod in at least 10 years."
So, that's where the story is at for now. I have a feeling it's not over yet.

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