Click here for the first installment of Swift Boat Watch.
Who They Are: Brave New PAC
Purpose: Brave New Films, which produces the PAC’s ads, is a 501(c)4 nonprofit . In the 2008 presidential election, it opposes John McCain.
President: Robert Greenwald
Funding: Democracy for America paid for half of the ad.
Cost of the Ad: $50,000, according to the group and an FEC report (PDF) listing expenditures by both Brave New PAC and Democracy for America.
Where It Ran: Nationally on MSNBC and CNN, for three days.
Related Groups: Brave New Films, Democracy for America
Claims: A former POW and colleague of McCain’s states that being a prisoner of war is "not a good prerequisite for a president." He then talks about McCain’s "volatile" temper. McCain "is not somebody I’d want to see with his finger near the red button," he says.
Accuracy: The ad is mostly opinion, so there isn’t a whole lot of fact-checking to be done. Butler wrote an opinion piece for the military back in March in which he explains his relationship with McCain at the Naval Academy and at the Hanoi Hilton and why he won’t be voting for him come November . But McCain’s temper has made more than a few appearances in the media during his campaigns. (See here , here , and here .)
Background: This ad began as a four-minute video but was trimmed down to a palatable 30-second spot for TV. The group mostly relies on viral videos, rather than big TV buys, to get publicity .
Swift Boat Rating:
It’s reminiscent of the Swift Boat ad four years ago that challenged candidate John Kerry’s war record. The statements made in the anti-Kerry ad, however, were found to be false or exaggerated. It’s hard to fact-check one guy’s opinion.