Demonizing Hillary.

Political ads dissected and explained.
March 21 2007 7:34 AM

Underground Orwell

Dissecting the Obama mystery ad.

Barack Obama is drawing huge crowds wherever he goes. In the past, that has meant a lot of available volunteers to pound yard signs and man phone banks. However, with the advent of cheap editing technology like iMovie and distribution through YouTube, energetic supporters can become powerful content creators who can help a campaign a lot more than by writing a check or walking precincts.

One such Obama supporter * has created a highly polished video mashup that uses the famous 1984 Apple Macintosh ad to attack Hillary Clinton. (The Obama campaign says it did not make the spoof.) Does it work? You be the judge:

* (Update, March 22, 2007: Since we produced our analysis of this ad, its author has unmasked himself. He is Phil de Vellis, formerly of Blue State Digital. In a blog entry on the Huffington Post, de Vellis describes Blue State Digital as "an internet company that provides technology to several presidential campaigns, including Richardson's, Vilsack's, and—full disclosure—Obama's." Phil de Vellis says he has resigned from the company, even though he produced the ad privately on his own time. He says neither his employer nor the Obama campaign knew he made the mashup.)


You'll find more Damned Spot videos at our video archive page. Comments:

Andy Bowers is the executive producer of Slate’s podcasts. Follow him on Twitter.

John Dickerson is Slate's chief political correspondent and author of On Her Trail. Read his series on the presidency and on risk.



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows


The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

We Could Fix Climate Change for Free. Now There’s Just One Thing Holding Us Back.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 7:03 PM Once Again, a Climate Policy Hearing Descends Into Absurdity
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 5:56 PM Watch Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg, and More on New YouTube Channel
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 7:23 PM MIT Researchers Are Using Smartphones to Interact With Other Screens
  Health & Science
Sept. 17 2014 4:49 PM Schooling the Supreme Court on Rap Music Is it art or a true threat of violence?
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?