(CNSNews.com) - Conservatives in the Pacific Northwest are fed up with the increasing number of Hollywood celebrities using the media to promote their pacifist sentiments and opposition to the Bush administration's handling of Iraq.
In response to the recent outpouring of the outspoken Hollywood liberals, one Seattle, Wash., radio station began encouraging its conservative listeners to show their support for the president and America's armed forces.
The predominantly conservative listeners of KVI radio showed their support by pledging almost $80,000 to initiate a television advertising campaign aimed at countering the anti-war rhetoric of the Hollywood Left.
"The idea really started when we saw the 'Daisy' spot that had been put out," said KVI Program Director Paul Duckworth. "Then, of course, Susan Sarandon and Janeane Garofalo kind of got involved in this. Martin [Sheen] was kind of a last-minute addition, but he made the contest a little more exciting for us."
The Daisy television commercial to which Duckworth referred was a recent remake of the original ad featuring a little girl plucking the petals off a daisy, juxtaposed with a countdown for the launch of a nuclear bomb. The ad ran only once in protest of Republican Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign, but it has always been viewed as a devastating blow to the GOP candidate, who ended up losing to President Lyndon Johnson in a landslide.
Last month, an online anti-war activist group with ties to Hollywood launched its own Daisy campaign in hopes of preventing Bush from rushing to war against Iraq.
"We would like to think the focus of the message is really about the president supporting the troops; giving real peace an opportunity," said Duckworth. "Quite frankly, there is no mystery that it is time for Saddam to go. He is a troublemaker. That's the general tone."
Duckworth said KVI's ad campaign is meant to express the voice of Seattle's conservative listeners while also keeping at a distance the tactics used by Hollywood anti-war protesters.
"I think one of the most powerful messages behind this project is that it is being driven by our audience," said Rob Dunlop, KVI's general manager. "These spots will be paid for by the listeners of KVI. That's really the spirit behind the radio-thon and generating the dollars for it is really to put the voice of the people out there in this commercial."
Both Dunlop and Duckworth said they couldn't reveal the script for their television message that will initially air in the Seattle area. They described the ad, however, as being "very, very powerful."
"The spot itself is written in such a way that you're going to hear a variety of voices in the beginning saying things like, 'He's a war-monger. All he wants is oil. He spends too much on the military. He's not letting the U.N. do it's job,'" Duckworth said. "The twist on the spot comes when the announcer comes in and says, 'This is what the Iraqi people think about their leader, Saddam Hussein. This is what they'd like to say if they could.'"
Duckworth said most television viewers at first will believe the KVI listener-supported commercial is "just another anti-administration spot" when it's really meant to portray what KVI believes are the true sentiments of the Iraqi people.
'Pretend' President Leads Campaign against Bush
Martin Sheen, who plays Democratic President Jed Bartlet on NBC's, The West Wing, has been tapped by the online anti-war coalition, Win Without War, to promote its Monday cyber-march on Capitol Hill and the White House.
Win Without War is led by former Rep. Tom Andrews (D-Maine) and claims to be America's largest "mainstream coalition of organizations opposed to pre-emptive war with Iraq."
At a recent press conference for Win Without War's "Virtual March on Washington," Sheen encouraged all Americans to e-mail, fax and phone lawmakers the following message: "Don't invade Iraq! We can contain Saddam Hussein without killing innocent people, diverting us from the war on terrorism and putting us all at risk."
Sheen was joined by fellow actors Mike Farrell of M*A*S*H fame, Anjelica Huston, James Cromwell and Garofolo, who urged Americans to "join together and lead Washington back to its senses."
Organizers of the Virtual March, including MoveOn.org; Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH coalition; the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said their goal is to "overwhelm the White House and every member of the U.S. Senate with calls, faxes and e-mails on February 26th."
SendThemPacking.com, a website originally launched as a protest to actor Alec Baldwin and other celebrities who warned they would leave the country if Bush was elected president in 2000, is once again trying to counter liberal celebrities.
Brian Keahl, who owns and operates the conservative website, wants Republicans to once again stand up to Hollywood by taking a page from Hollywood's own playbook. Keahl is currently promoting his own virtual protest rally called "Give War a Chance."
Keahl said his online effort is "providing a means of e-mailing the protestors to protest their effort to have protesters e-mail legislators, the White House and others. Turnabout is fair play!"
E-mail a news tip to Michael L. Betsch.
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