MNGOP-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden's first major TV ad elicited criticism, and considering "groin gate," how could he possibly have expected otherwise? But instead of taking it on the chin or defending the head-scratching spot, his campaign decided to purge his Facebook page of negative comments about it.
Or at least so BuzzFeed reports, citing screengrabs provided to them by a "Minnesota Democrat." (C'mon, hook us up!)
Here's what the comments looked like, before:
And here's what they looked like after the purge (notice how certain comments disappeared while the number of likes and shares went up):
If that's not bad enough, a Democratic source pointed out to us that one of the "positive" commenters on McFadden's post, Meaghan Haley, is actually a McFadden intern. (See McFadden's "Meet the Interns" photo here -- now cross-reference "Meaghan" from that pic with Haley's personal profile here.)
We're also told that a second intern posted a positive comment on McFadden's video after the negative ones were scrubbed, but we weren't able to definitively confirm that. McFadden spokesman Tom Erickson didn't comment when we asked him about the intern posts.
Erickson did comment, however, when we queried him about BuzzFeed's allegations regarding the deletion of negative comments. To read what he said, click to page two.
Here's Erickson's response:
Slow day at City Pages as well as Buzzfeed huh? Instead of trying to manufacture a controversy, Buzzfeed would've been better off making a listicle detailing how Al Franken has failed Minnesotans by supporting President Obama 98% of the time.Erickson didn't respond to our followup question about the what policy, if any, the McFadden campaign has when it comes to deleting comments on social media, but here's what the Franken campaign told us when we asked them the same question:
Profanity, offensive comments, threatening comments and slurs all get deleted, criticism that doesn't contain any of the aforementioned, is left alone.In other words, at least according to what his campaign tells us, Franken wouldn't have deleted comments merely because they're critical of his campaign ad.
Some might argue that when you're a politician running for national office without much name recognition, any attention is good attention -- but that's assuming your first two ads go over slightly better than the MNsure ads featuring a klutzy, injury-prone Paul Bunyan did. So far, Mike McFadden hasn't met that meager threshold with either his first spot or the "Coach" one.