Americans Against Hate (Stephen Marks)
Americans Against Hate (AAH) is the name used by two organizations:
- The defunct group founded in 2000 by Republican consultant Stephen Marks is described below.
- The ongoing group founded in 1998 by Joe Kaufman is described at Americans Against Hate.
These two organizations have no relationship with each other.
Marks's Americans Against Hate (AAH) was a one time ad campaign in the year 2000 by Republican consultant and media specialist Stephen Marks. The group ran no-holds-barred television ads linking Vice-President and presidential candidate Al Gore to fellow Democratic party leader Al Sharpton.
Marks told the New York Daily News, "We want to hold Al Gore's feet to the fire, just like George Bush got nailed for going to Bob Jones University," referring to Bush's controversial campaign stop at an anti-Catholic school in South Carolina with an interracial dating ban.
Time magazine described the AAH commercial as one of the "gut-punching ads hit the airwaves last week [the end of October 2000] in the handful of ground-zero states as both parties and their sympathetic special-interest groups worked to boost turnout among the faithful--or drive it down."
Time described the AAH ad, which aired in four states (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Tennesee): "Sharpton, says the announcer, admires Hitler (flash to photo of the dictator) and defends rapists and cop killers (video of Willie Horton-style mug shots). The ad asks, 'Mr. Gore...what kind of unholy alliance will you have with Al Sharpton?'"
In response, Sharpton called the AAH ad "outrageous and slanderous," but also said he "thought it would help Gore with black voters insulted by attempts to play the race card," reported the New York Daily News. Sharpton added, "I'm flattered by my new national image. Why don't they make a big deal out of my meetings with Republicans like Gov. Pataki and [New Jersey] Gov. [Christie] Whitman and Rick Lazio?"
- O'Reilly to Americans Against Hate president Stephen Marks, on the Gore-Sharpton ad: "It takes a misjudgment, and I think that's what it was on the part of the vice president ... and makes it into an endorsement. ... I think you're taking it to the extreme." Marks: "Every single thing in my ad, in our ad, is totally truthful and can be backed up with proof" ("O'Reilly Factor," FNC, 10/31).
On another Fox News show (the October 27, 2000 "Hannity & Colmes"), Marks was asked why he didn't include in the ad Gore's condemning some of Sharpton's language. Marks replied:
- MARKS: "If George W. Bush -- or any Republican, for that matter -- went down and said the same thing about David Duke, all of you liberals would be screaming your heads off and all hell would be breaking loose. Yet the minute we bring up the fact that -- for instance, Joe Lieberman this week is praising Louis Farrakhan. And you have Vice President Al Gore defending Al Sharpton, a guy that advocates killing cops and defends murderers and rapists. I believe there is a double-standard here. And the American people needs to know."
In other media appearances, Marks favorably compared the AAH ad to one by the NAACP criticizing then-Texas Governor George W. Bush for not signing stronger hate crimes legislation before the dragging death of African-American James Byrd.
Transcript of AAH Ad
NARRATOR: On February 13, Al Gore held a secret meeting in his daughter's apartment with New York's Reverend Al Sharpton, and later had this to say:
AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not meet with Reverend Sharpton publicly. I met with him privately. I would not be so quick to completely dismiss what he has to say.
NARRATOR: Oh, really, Mr. Gore? Al Sharpton said that Adolf Hitler was a great man and that America's forefathers were the worst criminals and the scum of the earth.
REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK: The worst criminals by their own admission was the scum of Europe.
NARRATOR: In New York, Al Sharpton has defended some of the most notorious criminals, including the murder of Lemrick Nelson and the vicious Central Park rapists. In New Jersey, Al Sharpton urged college students to kill police officers, or "off the pigs," as he put it.
SHARPTON: Well, they've got pigs out here. You can off one of them. What I believe in, I do.
NARRATOR: Mr. Gore, should you become president, what kind of unholy alliance will you have with Al Sharpton, one of America's most dangerous creatures of hate?