Webster attacked as 'Taliban Dan' in political ad
Ad widely criticized by impartial observers as distortion of Webster's remarks
Sep 28, 2010
By JAMES A. SMITH SR.

ORLANDO (FBW) -- Pro-family leader and Southern Baptist layman Daniel Webster has been compared to Islamic extremists as "Taliban Dan Webster" in a television commercial by U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, his opponent in the closely contested Orlando-area congressional race.

The 30-second ad released Sept. 25 has been criticized by three independent organizations for taking Webster's words out of context.

With black and white images of women in Islamic burkas, gun-toting terrorists, and maps of Afghanistan, Iran and Orlando, a woman announcer declares in the ad, "Religious fanatics tried to take away our freedom in Afghanistan, in Iran and right here in Central Florida," followed by video of Webster saying, "Wives submit yourselves to your own husband."

The announcer then asserts, "Daniel Webster wants to impose his radical fundamentalism on us," with another video clip of Webster: "She should submit to me. That's in the Bible."

The ad also includes two clips of Webster saying, "Submit to me."

The full text of the Grayson ad is:

  • Announcer: Religious fanatics tried to take away our freedom in Afghanistan, in Iran and right here in Central Florida.
  • Webster: Wives submit yourselves to your own husband.
  • Announcer: Daniel Webster wants to impose his radical fundamentalism on us.
  • Webster: She should submit to me. That's in the Bible.
  • Announcer: Webster tried to deny battered women medical care, and the right to divorce their abusers.
  • Webster: Submit to me.
  • Announcer: He wants to force raped women to bear the child.
  • Webster: Submit to me.
  • Announcer: Taliban Dan Webster. Hands off our bodies, and our laws.

The ad has been criticized as "false" by PolitiFact.com, a campaign fact-checking project of The St. Petersburg Times. The Orlando Sentinel reported, "The Grayson campaign edited the original video, chopping it up and taking Webster's words out of context." And, FactCheck.org, an project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, found Grayson manipulated the video.

Webster's campaign released the video after the Grayson campaign declined media requests to release the video in order to evaluate Webster's comments in the full context.

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