March 18, 2011- A new ad out of FreedomWorks, the political advocacy group funded in-part by arch conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, rankled critics Friday for recycling footage from a California protest to smear union workers in Ohio.
The ad was part of a larger campaign FreedomWorks is planning, which includes a longer ad than the one slated for Ohio. Their campaign attempts to portray organized labor as violent bullies unwilling to share a national burden — even though Wisconsin unions accepted the governor's proposed cuts to their wages, hours and benefits.
But the ad's most divisive moment is footage of a minor altercation that occurred in California, where one man shoved another man twice before police separated the two.
That same clip was called out by Raw Story and other members of the press when it aired on Fox News during a discussion relating to Wisconsin, where host Bill O'Reilly did not properly identify the footage as it aired, implying that the Wisconsin protests were violent.
However, palm trees could clearly be seen in the background, which Wisconsin's climate isn't able to support. The flap has led some Wisconsin protesters to begin carrying inflatable plastic palm trees at protests.
It also includes footage of a separate incident where a man at a union protest pushed a camera out of his face. It was treated as some kind of significant ordeal by conservative media, which made him out to be a "violent leftist union thug" who had somehow "assaulted" a young girl.
Turns out the girl was a FreedomWorks volunteer, and she was unharmed.