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Ad Watch: The dark-skinned, bearded Perriello in Goode’s ad

Story by Chris Graham

It’s bad enough that it gets the facts of Tom Perriello’s record wrong. That happens every minute of every day anywhere in America where political ads run on TV. But you have to cast the net out far and wide to find a campaign that puts a white candidate in blackface as it distorts his record for the viewers watching at home.

“It’s unfortunate, though not surprising, that Virgil Goode was the first one to go negative in this race,” said Fifth District Democratic Party congressional nominee Tom Perriello in a major-league understatement, considering his depiction in the Goode ad that had him looking like a Middle Eastern mullah even as it referred to the Albemarle County native as a New York liberal.

Perriello has called on TV stations running the ad to take it down and threatened legal action, prompting a nonsensical response from the Danville Register & Bee that Perriello “doesn’t need a lawyer, he needs to respond,” ostensibly backing the Lee Atwater-Willie Horton ad tactics from the Goode campaign.

That’s an interesting stance to take as we enter Week 2 of the run for the ad, which still has Perriello in blackface, still has him looking like a mullah, and still distorts his record.

What’s interesting here is that Goode is supposedly comfortably ahead in his re-election race. Perhaps we can glean from this that he’s not as comfortable in that lead as we had been led to believe.