A Democratic fundraising video on President Obama's political Web site shows an American flag mural being covered in graffiti and desecrated with slogans about health care reform.
As a heart monitor beeps ominously in the background, a graffiti artist paints over the Stars and Stripes with phrases criticizing opposition to the Democratic legislation, including "profit over life" and the crossed-out words "death panels." The whole flag is eventually smeared with paint and blacked out.
One of 20 finalists in the Democratic National Committee's "Health Reform Video Challenge," the video shows the Los Angeles-based graffiti artist "Saber" at work, according to a copy of the video posted to YouTube.
The DNC is using the splattered Old Glory to pick up some change, asking for donations to air the winner of its contest. "[T]o put the winning ad on national television, we'll need folks to chip in and help cover the cost of getting the ad on the air," the DNC says on its my.BarackObama.com Web site.
The video made it past a panel of judges "comprised of DNC employees," the site says. All finalists were screened to find "the most apt, creative, original and interesting video" that provides "clarity of message concerning supporting health insurance reform."
Now in the final round, the remaining 20 videos will be judged by a panel of experts including DNC chief Tim Kaine; Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa.; singer will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas; and Seth MacFarlane, creator of the TV cartoon "Family Guy."
A spokesman for Organizing for America told the Politico that the group was not prepared to provide comment on the video, but gave the contest a big push online.
"We're closer than we've ever been to passing real health reform, but we need to keep pushing forward and tipping the debate in favor of reform -- and the winning video could do just that," they wrote.