Sometimes you have a headline that makes the rest of the story superfluous, but here's the background. Actor Lance Baxter, otherwise known as "D.C. Douglas," currently known as the man who informs you how much Geico can save you on car insurance, left a message last month with FreedomWorks in which he asked the group how many "mentally retarded" people it had on staff and what it would do when a tea partyer "killed someone." On April 14, FreedomWorks put his voicemail online.
Today, Douglas reports he's been dropped from Geico's campaign. His dramatic news release is here; he claims to have been motivated by "the recent gay and racial slurs slung by Tea Party members at Congressman Barney Frank and Representative John Lewis during the Health Care Reform Weekend," and says he's "open to any attorneys taking on this case pro bono."
Which makes sense in an angry and dangerous kind of way, except that there's no proof any gay or racial slurs were slung. How stupid must one be to do this?
For the far left version, there's this story on PR Newswire (shouldn't it be more objective? Never mind):
FreedomWorks Bullies GEICO To Axe Voice Over Actor
GEICO voice over actor targeted by Tea Party members after expressing opinion on FreedomWorks voicemail.
Los Angeles actor, D.C. Douglas, says he was dropped from the upcoming GEICO "Shocking News" campaign after a group of Tea Party members harassed him and the insurance giant over a private voicemail the actor left for FreedomWorks. Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks, posted Mr. Douglas' cell phone number in a blog post on biggovernment.com, instructing readers to "Feel free to contact (him)… call his employer too. Let them know that you…are now in the market for car insurance." The next day, GEICO held auditions to replace Mr. Douglas' voice on the campaign.
Mr. Douglas' message hardly warranted the mobilization of the Tea Party Movement. Upset by the recent gay and racial slurs slung by Tea Party members at Congressman Barney Frank and Representative John Lewis during the Health Care Reform Weekend, Mr. Douglas left his opinion of FreedomWorks' staff and followers on their company voicemail and included his phone number.
Hardly warranted? Douglas called the staffers at FreedomWorks "retarded." Now, I'm not gonna go all Sarah Palin about the use of a grade school taunt, but it's hard to feel sympathy for a grown man acting, well, retarded about people with whom he disagrees politically, especially when he's so badly informed.