Celebrities Produce Video To Push Back Against Chamber, Rightwing Attacks

A progressive coalition enlisted two well-known Hollywood comedians to produce a humorous video aimed at rebutting the onslaught of election-season business and conservative attacks on the healthcare reform law enacted earlier this year.

Jack Black and America Ferrera created a video lampooning groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Crossroads and the 60 Plus Association which are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into TV advertising ahead of next months midterm elections, according to the organization that helped produce the video, Health Care for America Now (HCAN).

Black has appeared in a number of films, including the starring voice in the hit kids movie, “Kung Fu Panda.” Ferrera played the title role in the popular ABC TV series, “Ugly Betty.”

Black and Ferrera donated their comedic talents. The result is The Mis-Informant, a multi-part video about Nathan Spewman, a propagandist who stops at nothing—including going to a school to recruit young children to join his campaign of deception—to spread ridiculous lies for corporate clients who line his pockets with cash.


HCAN says it will use the video to expose what it calls unfounded attacks on the Affordable Care Act, the name for the healthcare reform law President Obama signed into law in March. An HCAN statement doesn’t specify how it will use the video, however.

Conservatives and Republicans have vowed to repeal the reform law, which they deride as “Obamacare,” and as a government takeover of the U.S. healthcare system.

Democrats in Congress passed healthcare reform with no GOP support and now must defend their congressional majorities in November’s elections.

“While this video is brilliant comedy, it is also part of a serious public education effort,” says HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome. “The new health care law puts an end to the worst insurance company abuses, ends out-of-pocket costs for preventive care and helps seniors maintain their independence. Opponents of the law are spending millions to spread outright lies about the law and its supporters.”

HCAN describes itself as a national grassroots coalition of more than 1,000 organizations in 46 states representing 30 million people which helped advocate for passage of the healthcare law.

The Chamber of Commerce and other groups have pledged to spend upwards of $400 million—mostly from undisclosed sources—to criticize the new health care law and other aspects of the agenda Democrats have put forward since Obama was sworn into office last year.

HCAN says it requested 83 TV stations to pull attack ads that were part of a multimillion-dollar ad campaign by the group 60 Plus. Designed to sow fear about Medicare, HCAN says the ads made attacks that were false.

“Thanks to recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, anyone—big corporations, billionaires, foreign powers, even terrorist groups—is free to secretly donate to front groups that unleash lies on the public,” Rome says, referring to the January Citizens United ruling which swept away decades of limitations on corporate influence on elections. “America has been put up for sale to the highest bidder, and the mystery funders are putting excessive profits ahead of the needs of working families.”

Obama criticized the Citizens United decision in his State of the Union address in January. The Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, more recently has come under fire for using foreign funds to finance its attacks against Democrats.

The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.

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