David Bossie, the Washington Post reports,
By Bill Berkowitz, Media Transparency
August 15, 2008
It won't be a post-Labor Day blockbuster or win critical acclaim, but Bossie's Citizens United is rolling out 'Hype: The Obama Effect,' an anti-Obama documentary that aims to make waves.
Regnery has published a major anti-Obama book -- David Freddoso's
Although still a relatively young man, Bossie, the president of Citizens United, has been a political mudslinger for a nearly two decades. He gained some national notoriety in the 1990s when he was relentless in his pursuit of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and later that decade was fired from his position as an investigator for a House committee. Earlier this year, Bossie
Bossie's biggest play this election season is the production of an anti-Obama film: On the eve of the Democratic Party convention in Denver, Citizens United Productions will premiere its full-length documentary, "Hype: The Obama Effect." The film is unlikely to be a blockbuster, it thus far hasn't generated the buzz Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911" did before its release, and will surely not be hitting the festival circuit. In fact, thus far, there are no movie houses listed under the "Theater" section of the hypemovie.com website, scheduled to show the film.
However, according to Politico, Bossie, who co-produced the film, which was directed and written by Alan Peterson -- who also directed "Fahrenhype 9/11," a response to Moore's award-winning documentary -- "hopes the documentary will land in about a dozen theaters, but [recognizes that its] primary distribution will come via mail-order sales, with DVDs selling for approximately $25." Bossie pointed out that the film will be available for rental at Netflix and Blockbuster, and sold at Barnes & Noble, Borders and on Amazon.com, with possible downloads available online at iTunes and other sites.
Alan Peterson, according to Reidblog (The Reid Report Blog), is
Ever since Senator Hillary Clinton was defeated in the Democratic Party primaries by Senator Barack Obama -- thereby making Citizens United's film "Hillary: The Movie," which took 18 months and millions of dollars to produce, politically useless -- the organization has been concentrating on readying the Obama documentary for distribution. Bossie is also the author of the "Hillary: The Politics of Personal Destruction," a book released in early March of this year.
In late July, Citizens United (website), announced the launching of its "Hype: The Obama Effect" website (website). Ten days later, Bossie claimed that the site had received 250,000 hits since its launch.
The web site features a nearly five-minute trailer -- which includes Obama's appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" -- and a "30 Second Television Ad" which promotes "Hype" through sound-bites from such notable conservatives as Kenneth Blackwell, the former secretary of state of Ohio who after being defeated for Ohio's governor took up residence as Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at Washington, D.C.'s Family Research Council -- "It's only when you begin to peel back the layers that you begin to see a disturbing pattern," Blackwell says of Obama in the ad; MSNBC's commentator Tucker Carlson, former Clinton aide, Fox News Channel contributor and best-selling author, Dick Morris, and the Rev. Joe Watkins, a frequent MSNBC commentator.
Citizens United maintains that through
Citizens United intends to release four documentaries this year on video: Newt Gingrich on the energy crisis; stories from Iraq veterans; a tribute to Ronald Reagan; and an examination of the controversial ABC-TV miniseries "The Path to 9/11," which was condemned by Clinton supporters and has yet to be released on home video by the network.
In a July 20, 2004, Salon profile of Bossie -- with a pugnacious title and subtitle
According to a July 6, 2002, archived version of his Citizens United profile, SourceWatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy pointed out, Bossie was
In the late 1980s he worked as an aide to former Kansas Senator Bob Dole. Bossie hooked up with Floyd Brown's Citizens United in the early 1990s. One of his assignments was to go to Arkansas and dig out the dirt about the Clintons. In the May 6, 1998 edition of Salon, David Corn reported that
In 1992, Bossie harassed the family of a suicide victim. "An anonymous and untraceable letter" was faxed to some 30 news organizations "claiming Clinton had had an affair with a former law student who committed suicide 15 years ago," an "emotionally distraught young woman, seven-months pregnant" named Susan Coleman. Bossie repeatedly attempted to contact the family for "confirmation" of the affair. With help from former Washington DC police officer James Murphy, Bossie went so far as to follow Susan's mother to a hospital in Augusta, Georgia, where her husband was seriously ill and recovering from a stroke. They "burst into the sick man's room and began questioning the shaken mother about her daughter's suicide." (Source: CBS News, July 13, 1992, quoted at The Allodium web site)
Bossie came early to the idea of impeaching President Clinton: In August 1994, Bossie, Director of Government Relations and Communications for Citizens United, and Howard Phillips, a long-term conservative activist who headed the Conservative Caucus, held a press conference addressing the "Latest Whitewater Developments, Impeachment Possibility."
In 1998, Bossie was fired from his job as chief investigator for the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform and Oversight -- which was investigating alleged Clinton White House campaign finance abuses -- for releasing selectively edited transcripts of former Clinton administration official Webster Hubbell's prison conversations.
Well-loved by conservatives, Bossie was given the Ronald Reagan Award from the Conservative Political Action Conference in 1999. A few years ago, journalist Max Blumenthal reported that Bossie called himself an "accidental filmmaker." At the 2006 Liberty Film Festival in Hollywood, Bossie told Blumenthal that "We need to use all the political tools available to us. Whether it's a thirty-second TV spot or a full-length feature, we need offensive political tools."
There's no question Bossie has become a master of creating "offensive tools." It remains to be seen whether there will be an audience for "Hype: The Obama Effect" or whether Bossie will be preaching to the choir.
Bill Berkowitz is a freelance writer covering right-wing groups and movements.