Dukakis Tanks

"In 1988, [future Fox News CEO Roger Ailes] signed on for Vice President Bush's effort to succeed Reagan and helped to orchestrate one of the nastiest media campaigns ever. Ailes agreed with Bush's campaign manager, the late Lee Atwater, that Bush needed to overcome his 'wimp' image and do more than lower his own negatives in the polls; he had to raise the negatives of his Democratic opponent, Michael Dukakis. One night... Ailes had a dream about a recent disastrous campaign appearance in which Dukakis had been filmed riding in a tank. Ailes got up, jotted the word 'tank' on a pad, and went back to sleep. Within two days, he had started production of a spot with a voice-over enumerating the defense-spending programs that the Governor of Massachusetts opposed. As the voice cited the programs, one saw Dukakis's head sticking out of the turret of a tank and capprd by a helmet with head-phones that looked like Mickey~Mouseears. Dukakis became the wimp -- a liberal elitist who was pro-taxes, pro-criminals, pro-defense cuts, and even pro-polluter. Alies 'has two speeds,' Atwater told Time. 'Attack and destroy.'"

[Ailes was later criticized for devising the notorious anti-Dukakis spots featuring the black felon Willie Horton. Ailes denied responsibility.]

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