NEW YORK – Could a "macaca" moment doom Republicans once more? The Democrats apparently hope so and have created a new Web site to help make it happen.
The Democratic National Committee set up www.democrats.org/flippertv to post amateur video of the leading Republican presidential contenders as they campaign around the country. Videos there can be downloaded, viewed and even manipulated by voters, who might want to create their own campaign ads to post online.
The Democrats hope that viewers might spot unvarnished moments that were missed by mainstream news organizations.
In 2006, GOP Sen. George Allen, who was running for re-election in Virginia, lashed out at an Indian-American man shooting video for Allen's Democratic opponent, Jim Webb. Allen called the videographer "macaca," interpreted as an ethnic slur, and welcomed him to "America, and the real world of Virginia."
No TV news cameras captured the incident, but it was beamed into voters' homes via YouTube and other video sharing sites — and later on television, too. The moment helped derail Allen's re-election campaign and return the Senate to Democratic hands.
The Web site already posts extensive video clips shot by Democratic operatives at campaign events featuring Republican contenders Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson.
"The idea behind FlipperTV is simple: let the American people hear directly from the Republican candidates unscripted and in their own words, and let them decide if they want four more years of Bush's failed policies or a Democrat who will bring change to the White House," DNC Chairman Howard Dean said in a statement. "This video will come directly from the campaign trail, letting voters see who they truly are, not who their campaigns want them to be."