Obama campaign Deputy Press Secretary Katie Hogan described it as “a tool providing our supporters with the facts they need to fight back against lies and distortions about the President’s record.”
Hogan told me that 100,000 people signed up for the site in the first 24 hours. Thousands of people also responded to the site on blogs, via Twitter using the hashtag #attackwatch, in the comments section of our post or in e-mails I received.
A large section of people that responded continued to ridicule the site as “paranoid,” or said that they felt they were being spied on. Another subsection of respondents, however, said they appreciated the site and felt it was needed because of a culture of fear they said was created by the GOP.
Below, I’ve included some of the different responses from our readers:
Joel Amsterdam, publicist, in an e-mail:
I feel that the campaign set up the Web site to fight some of the incredibly fallacious things that go un-rebutted in the media. I think the media has really abdicated responsibility when it comes to letting mis-statements lie out there as truth, and then they become conventional wisdom, leading people to be so misinformed about so many things.
It also seems like the moment Obama became president the opposition decided to take him down any way they could. After 9/11, the country was ready to come together around Bush. Now, [the opposition,] no matter what he proposes ... just says no because Obama’s name is on it.
Your post struck a nerve because [the Obama campaign] hasn't done enough fighting back ... When the Obama administration sets up a site to fight something like this, it’s certainly an understandable response. The idea that the vitriolic, unhinged-from-reality reaction on Twitter is a story, to me I thought that was another example of the media not doing what it should be doing ... to give any of that any credibility to them in a post is irresponsible, I think.
Mike Poindexter, Selma, Calif., in an e-mail:
I am one of the people who “signed up” in the first 24 hours. I reported a web site ... The web site is http://www.attackwatch.com
The next morning, I got an email from Obama asking me for a donation and if I donate money, I might win a dinner with him. I suppose I am going to have to report that email next.
hill_marty, in the comments section:
I signed up too. I complained about the Post.
bingham60, in the comments section:
I'm a longtime Democrat and do not advocate an “enemies list” whether it's President Obama's or Nixon's.
handel30, in the comments section:
Who cares what conservatives have to say about the site? Why is the Washington Post wasting our time with such articles? Republicans come up with a new lie/smear on Obama almost every day ... so a site dedicated to fighting the outrageous falsehoods and baldfaced lies of the GOP is a great idea! You can be certain that I, for one, will make use of it.
Jim East, via Twitter
I'm not sure why it took so long for big-name media outlet to pick up on the AttackWatch debacle.
ironchefofmunchies, in the comments section
I think “becomes the laughing stock of the internet” is much more accurate .... When Colbert and Jon Stewart are making fun of you for this-it's NOT just “conservatives“ mocking you.