Last week, we noted the weird cameo by convicted Greeley gang-banger Christian Hanson in an allegedly racist attack video aimed at Janice Hahn, a California candidate running for Congress in a special election taking place tomorrow. Afterward, we heard from filmmaker Ladd Ehlinger, the man who made the clip, who invites brickbats from liberals -- because they're helping to spread his message.
"You have all these people complaining about how horrible it is," Ehlinger says about the video. "But then they embed it on their site, just like you did. And that's great. I've gotten more hits from the Huffington Post than from any conservative blog out there."
The ad goes after Hahn for allegedly hiring "hardcore gang members" as "gang-intervention specialists" with "taxpayer money... She even helped them get out of jail -- so they could rape and kill again!" These claims are followed by a mock hip-hop video in which rappers belt out lines like, "Give me yo' cash, bitch, so we can shoot up the street" as mug shots zip past. Among the featured images: Al Capone, Charles Manson... and Christian Hanson, whose pic Ehlinger says he may have stumbled upon in our 120 most memorable mug shots of 2010.
Is the result racist? "You can call it whatever you want," Ehlinger says, "but it's no more racist than some of the things by Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert," who featured the clip on his program. Besides, "the point of throwing in all of those extra gangsters was a thematic thing, because it doesn't matter what color the gangster is. I'm an equal opportunity offender, man."
As for the song itself, Ehlinger points out that it's a re-write of a '90s party track called "Shake That Ass Bitch" by Splack Pack, featuring Uncle Head and Mr. Kue Dog, the rhymers who appear in the anti-Hahn video. He claims the cut was parodied on a famous South Park episode called "You Got F'd in the A," but that's not quite right. While a number of clips on YouTube pair footage from the episode with "Shake That Ass Bitch," the tune in the ep is an original. Compare and contrast below.
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Ehlinger, who's based in Nashville, has made a career for himself treating progressive politicians like piñatas. Among his greatest hits: a video for John Dennis that described Nancy Pelosi as the "wicked witch of the left." And far from being cowed by the reaction to his latest opus, he's cheerfully unrepentant -- and eager to take on all comers.
"You know how Colbert set up his PAC and why?" he asks. "He's coming from the point of view that we need more regulation of political speech. But I think he's a fucking tool. I think there should be no regulation of political speech. If I want to make an ad like this every day of the freaking week, I should be able to -- and you should be able to."
Look below to see the Hahn video, a clip that combines South Park footage with "Shake That Ass Bitch," the actual song from South Park's "You Got F'd in the A" episode and "The Wicked Witch of the Left."