If you’re watching local TV news early in the morning in the next few days, tuning in to check the weather Saturday morning, or unwinding with Judge Mathis or Access Hollywood, get ready for a visual assault.
Using federal election rules that give congressional candidates virtual carte blanche to say and show whatever they want in television ads, an out-of-state anti-abortionactivist who’s running for Congress in South Florida is taking to the airwaves starting Wednesday.
Randall Terry’s ad, which is only getting a handful of showings in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach TV markets, is guaranteed to grab attention and repulse many people at the same time.
Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, said in a telephone interview the ad isn’t the kind of political spot a viewer needs to see 10 times before it makes an impression. “You can inoculate somebody with one ad. They will never forget that ad,” he said.
Entitled “Samuel L. Jackson Carries Water for Racists,” the ad rips the actor for his support for President Barack Obama and asserts that abortion amounts to “black genocide” because African-American fetuses are aborted.
It shows graphic pictures of bloody, dismembered fetuses.
Terry said he hopes to convince black voters “to abandon Obama,” so he made an effort to buy ad time on programs that attract young African-American viewers. “This ad will explain racism and black genocide to young African Americans in a way that grips them, shakes them, and hopefully wakes them from their political coma,” he said.
The ad doesn’t say anything about U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, the candidate that Terry is running against. Terry is a resident of West Virginia.
Hastings said the ad is “offensive and in my view it doesn’t dignify a response.”
Joanne Stermer, president of the National Organization for Women chapter in Broward and treasurer of the Pro-Choice Coalition of Broward, termed Terry’s ad disgusting.
“I think it’s going to turn off people. I really can’t believe that the anti-choice people would even take a look at that and think it’s legit. I give them more credit than that.”
The video goes after Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood. And Sarah Brown, a South Florida resident who serves as a vice president of the National Federation of Democratic Women, called it a “desperate attempt” by Terry.
Brown said in an email:
“Margaret Sanger came of age in a time when women were expected to submit to men and have as many children as their bodies could bring to term regardless of what the circumstances were. She saw the results of the desperate actions women took to avoid having another child that cried out in hunger and lived in squalid conditions and was determined to help them. This commercial is insulting to women who honor the work done by Margaret Sanger to better the lives of all women and children without regard to race or origin. As to his allegations that Ms. Sanger killed "black babies", Ms. Sanger was concerned with Population Growth in all races of people.
Terry promised more to come before Election Day. He said they’d be “unprecedented” and the “most talked about TV political ads” in decades.
“We have ads coming that are, No. 1, unprecedented, and, No. 2, will probably be the most talked about TV political ads since Willie Horton,” Terry said.
The so-called Willie Horton ad, used in the 1988 presidential campaign was a much talked-about effort that supporters of Republican presidential candidate George H.W. Bush used to make Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis appear soft on crime. Democrats said it was racist.