SCOTUS To Decide If “Hillary: The Movie” Spots Would Have Been Negative Advertising
Made by Clinton critic David Bossie, “Hillary: The Movie” was an attempt to cast a negative light on the then-presidential candidate and current secretary of state. Bossie wanted to run ads for the movie during the presidential primaries in key states, as the movie was being shown in eight theaters. Now the Supreme Court will decide if Bossie and his attorney Ted Olson, also an anti-Clintonite, are correct, or if the federal courts were right when they said the movie was nothing more than an extended political attack ad. You can see from the movie poster itself (above) just what the intent was.
Federal courts said the ads would violate the McCain-Feingold law, the popular name for 2002 revisions to the nation’s campaign finance laws. Judges called “Hillary: The Movie” a 90-minute attack ad, rulings that would require Citizens United to identify the financial backers for the ads if they were to appear on television.
The court also said that if Bossie’s group showed the movie on cable television, financial backers would have to be named and the group would have to pay the cost of airing the movie.
Citizens United appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that “Hillary: The Movie” should not be considered a political ad. The group says there is nothing in the movie urging people to vote against Clinton. The group says the film is more of a documentary comparable to critical television news programs such as “Frontline,” “Nova” and “60 Minutes.”
Amazingly, Bossie and Olson claim there is nothing in the film intended to persuade people from voting against Clinton. But the movie consisted of conservative punidts telling why they thought Clinton should not be president. Former Clinton advisor Dick Morris, now a Clinton critic, referred to her as “the closest thing we have in America to a European socialist.”
Also amazing, if not downright hypocritical, is that when filmmaker Michael Moore had “Fahrenheit 911” out, Bossie was behind an effort to prevent the advertising of that movie because it was critical of George W. Bush. But, unlike Bossie, Moore had no plans to run ads for his film during the election season.
Bossie said Moore’s success is what inspired him. “Michael Moore forced me to recognize the power of documentary film,” said Bossie, who was involved in the House’s investigation of Bill Clinton that led to the president’s impeachment and trial.
Bossie will have a difficult time arguing he was just doing a “Frontline”-type documentary. He’s on record as having worked to assemble anti-Obama material during the campaign, in anticipation of the eventual Democratic nominee. Dave “Doctor” Gonzo has the lowdown on Bossie at American Politics Journal.Click here for reuse options!
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