Throughout the day on March 19, Fox News devoted several segments to an anonymously produced video posted on YouTube.com that attacked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) by altering a famous Apple Computer advertisement. Fox News aired the video in its entirety at least five times and portions of the ad at various other times throughout the day.
The original Apple ad (which aired only once, during the 1984 Super Bowl, to promote the company's new Macintosh computer) was a takeoff on George Orwell's novel 1984, depicting a dystopian future in which a woman hurls a sledgehammer at a large television screen through which a "Big Brother"-like figure is speaking to the hypnotized masses. In the altered version posted on YouTube, the "Big Brother" figure is replaced by Clinton, and the woman hurling the sledgehammer sports a T-shirt bearing a campaign logo for Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and an Apple iPod. At the end of the video, viewers are directed to Obama's campaign website. Though Fox News noted that the source of the attack video is as yet unknown, that did not curb the network's enthusiasm for running it.
Beneath a screen shot from the video of Clinton as "Big Brother," Internet gossip Matt Drudge posted links to the video and a March 17 San Francisco Chronicle article about it on his website, the Drudge Report, on March 19.
On the March 19 edition of The Live Desk, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter called the video "amazingly powerful," and claimed: "I don't know how anyone can vote for a Democrat again after that." Coulter went on to claim that the video "distill[s]" Orwell's novel, and again attacked Democrats, saying: "I don't know how anyone can vote for a Democrat after reading Orwell's 1984."
From the March 19 edition of Fox News 'The Live Desk:
MARTHA MacCALLUM (host): All right, there you have it. It's very interesting. We put it up against the "1984" ad, the Apple ad. It is exactly -- it is the same ad with these video images laid over it. And neither side -- Barack Obama's not taking credit for it, he says we had nothing to do with this ad. Hillary Clinton says we don't know where it came from, obviously, either. What does this say about the power of, you know, people just creating their own campaign ads out there to get in the mix?
COULTER: That is an amazingly powerful ad. I don't know how anyone can vote for a Democrat again after that. Forget Hillary versus Obama. When I wrote High Crimes and Misdemeanors [Regnery, 1998], I got an email from a fan who said, "Great book, but you need to distill it down into a 60-second MTV, you know, video." And that's basically what this ad does for Orwell's 1984. I don't know how anyone can vote for a Democrat after reading Orwell's 1984.