Ethan Winner Speaks Out, Answering The Tough Questions, If By “The Tough Questions” You Mean “Pretty Much Nothing Anyone Is Interested In”
As I reported last night, Rusty at the Jawa Report has accused Ethan Winner of being the guy who uploaded that anti-Palin smear video. I said this morning: “The connection to the Winners and their PR firm is solid. The evidence tying in Axelrod and Obama is circumstantial but suggestive.”
Well, we now have an admission of the former and a denial of the latter.
September 22, 2008
1:30 pm PDT
Statement of Ethan Winner
The following is in response to questions I have received regarding the post on the Jawa Report website.
I produced and posted on the Internet the video entitled “Sarah Palin: A Heartbeat Away.”
The idea for the video was mine. No one paid me to produce it. The only out-of-pocket cost will be the fee for the voice-over narrator, which I will pay personally when I receive an invoice. Contrary to the allegation in the Jawa Report, the voice-over artist has never done any work for the Obama campaign. I retained her through a talent agency based solely on the quality of her voice.
Neither the Obama campaign nor any independent political action committee has had a connection with the making and/or posting of this video. Just like the thousands of Americans who have posted videos on the Internet regarding the current Presidential campaign, I produced this video as an expression of my right to free speech, which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
I believe the American people have a right and a need to know information about candidates for political office and their views. I made this video because I think it is important for the public to be aware of the association between Sarah and Todd Palin and the Alaskan Independence Party. The New York Times has reported that the Alaskan Independence Party website describes the party as seeking, in the words of the party, “a range of solutions to the conflicts between federal and local authority,” including “advocacy for state’s rights, through a return to territorial status, all the way to complete independence and nationhood status for Alaska.”
While a number of media outlets have said that reports that Sarah Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party may have been erroneous, her attendance at the party’s 1994 convention, her video speech to the 2008 convention and her husband’s membership in the Alaskan Independence Party have not been called into question.
Some people have asked why I have pulled the video from the Internet. The reason is simple. Following the posting of personal information about me by the Jawa Report, my family began to receive threatening and abusive phone calls and emails.
In jury trials, juries often assess the credibility of one assertion by testing the credibility of other assertions by the same witness. For example, if Ethan Winner tells you that “the voice-over artist has never done any work for the Obama campaign,” you are entitled to listen to a comparison of his voice-over artist to that used by the Obama campaign to see if his assertion rings true.
Winner says the two voices in that clip belong to different people. Make your own determination on that point. He doesn’t name the artist, and claims that “the voice-over artist has never done any work for the Obama campaign.” How does he know?
He doesn’t answer Ace’s question of why the videos and profiles came down so quickly, when the only thing teased in advance was that there would be a post tying phony grassroots activity to David Axelrod. Are we to presume that there was no such tie, yet Winner and family were simply monitoring Ace of Spades and Jawa Report and Patterico, so that they were ready to pull everything down within an hour of our posts going up??
He says that the idea for the video was his — but he pointedly doesn’t deny that one of the people working for his PR firm was involved in promoting it. And he doesn’t explain why that person refused to answer a simple question from the Weekly Standard regarding whether he had posted the video to Democratic Underground. If there was nothing nefarious going on, why did Jared Liu-Klein tell the Weekly Standard that he’d have to get back to them on that very simple question??
And he sidesteps the issue of the video’s blatantly false claims. Remember what Rusty told us in his original post:
The New York Times was forced to retract their earlier claim that Palin was a member of the party, blaming the error on the party’s chair. That retraction was published Sept. 3rd, 8 days before the video was first made publicly available.
And he doesn’t explain why Daily Kos suddenly killed their post promoting the smear — just like they killed their post promoting the “Trig Trutherism” smear.
Something tells me that Ethan Winner has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.
As Treacher says: “Winners Fake All.”
P.S. I will say this: all arguments that this video was an “in kind” contribution to Obama are bordering on fascism. This guy has a First Amendment right to say whatever he wants — and I think he retains that right even if he is doing Barack Obama’s explicit bidding. To reach any other conclusion is to deny the First Amendment.
But we have the right to question what is going on here. And we might as well exercise that right, because the brave souls in our so-called free press couldn’t care less about keeping Obama and his crew honest.
UPDATE: What do you know? We have a direct connection between Axelrod and the Winners. Thanks to daleyrocks.