New RNC Flack Castellanos to Remain on CNN: Creator of Racist ‘Hands’ Ad

November 24, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Alex Castellanos, notorious GOP strategist and CNN contributor, is taking over the role as communications director for the Republican National Committee (RNC), after the abrupt departure of Trevor Francis from his position yesterday. Tapping Castellanos, a long-time Republican dirty-tricks operative, to serve as RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s head flack is no surprise. But what is unexpected and is being roundly criticized by the Democrats, is CNN’s decision to keep Castellanos on air, as an “independent” voice.

According to CNN spokesperson Edie Emery, because Castellanos will not draw a salary for his new position, the GOP operative/dirty-trickster/flack/ Chamber of Commerce consultant/media buyer for AHIP, will still be welcomed on the network to offer “independent analysis.”

CNN’s decision drew condemnation from DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan:

“By bringing on a senior strategist for the Chamber and AHIP, the Republican Party can no longer pretend that they aren’t in the pocket of big business and the insurance industry lobby and it made it crystal clear who Republicans are fighting for — and it’s not our families and small businesses. When Castellanos is on CNN as a top strategist for the GOP, the insurance industry, and the Chamber of Commerce, he certainly won’t be offering any “independent analysis.”

Castellanos has also worked to kill health care reform, by drawing up GOP talking points describing his goal, as “If we slow this sausage-making process down, we can defeat it.” At times, his talking points were read verbatim by Michael Steele and other Republicans.

Castellanos is known, as the “father of the modern attack ad,” and he is proud of his notoriety. Perhaps, the most offensive and racially charged political ad ever produced was created by Castellanos in 1990, for the campaign of the segregationist Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC). The attack ad now referred to, as the “white hands” ad featured a close-up shot of two hands holding a rejection letter and crumpling it as a narrator says, “You needed that job, but they had to give it to a minority.”

The RNC has sought to officially label President Obama and the Democrats, as Socialists. And earlier this week, a RNC member proposed a GOP right-wing loyalty oath that describes Obama’s policies as Socialism. How much further to the right of extreme can Castellanos go? Based on his record, pretty far.

Source: Think Progress


One Response to “New RNC Flack Castellanos to Remain on CNN: Creator of Racist ‘Hands’ Ad”

  1. j.a.m. on November 25th, 2009 3:35 am

    That’s “the most offensive and racially charged political ad ever produced”? LOL.

    Granted, there are virtually zero “racially charged” ads against which to compare it, so maybe it wins that category by default. But there are plenty of offensive ads, and this one doesn’t remotely come close — unless you’re just offended by any dissent over affirmative action.

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