Published September 15, 2011
Attack Watch, website started by President Obama's campaign organization, was intended to be a repository for supporters to report "attacks" on Obama's record and get the facts. But its rollout has been met with scathing mockery by conservatives, who call it a second-rate version of previous Big Brother sites created by Team Obama.
The onslaught of hilarity was fed first by a brutal parody created by an outfit called Misfit Politics. The mock ad repeats the name "Attack Watch" in a voice mimicking the Budweiser "Whassup" ad of Super Bowl yore and then goes on to offer examples of the types of misinformation readers can report.
Conservative critic Mark Steyn, a native of the U.K., then cheered that he was the only foreigner with a designation on AttackWatch.com.
Both were met with comment after comment from readers offering the type of "attacks" they were going to report to the Obama re-election site. The #attackwatch Twitter page was immediately spammed with tweet after tweet heavy on sarcasm regarding the president's stimulus and jobs creation plans.
"hey #AttackWatch I heard the only good 'Cash For Clunkers' did was get all the obama stickers off the roads, thank you," tweeted @speedyjerry.
"Hey #attackwatch, I saw 6 ATM's in an alley, killing a Job. It looked like a hate crime!" wrote @thorninaz.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Katie Hogan told the Washington Post that 100,000 people had signed up for the site in the first 24 hours.
"This site is a tool providing our supporters with the facts they need to fight back against lies and distortions about the president's record," she told the newspaper.
But syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin said this site, the fourth one launched in three years attempting to respond to political attacks, has backfired on the Obama team.
"What this is really about is some sort of campaign against their opponents, and it's not working anymore," she said.
"Back in 2008, the Obama campaign had claimed this mantle as the tech savvy geniuses, and what's happened is that conservatives on Twitter and on YouTube and all the social networks have been able to strike back, and humor is always the best revenge," she said.
In an opinion article published in the International Business Times, Nadine DeNinno argues the site is pointless, saying it is counterproductive and has become a laughingstock.
"The website has become simply an instrument used by opponents to rail the president by conservatives, using it as their personal punching bag," she wrote. "The people who monitor the site will be quite busy, as Attack Watch only warrants more attacking."
She also wondered how many jobs the site created, "or how long it took to conceive, in which case jobs could have been created instead?" She then quoted @BradThor who tweeted, "If only the #Obama administration could create an atmosphere where jobs materialized as quickly as #attackwatch jokes!"