Last week, President Obama made history by being the first sitting president to publicly support gay marriage. Now, his administration is the first to openly advertise homosexuality around the globe as an "American ideal." The Blaze has uncovered documents that show how central gay rights themes have been to the administration and how they are being used by the administration to propagate a rebranding of America and its values.
Two years ago, the Travel Promotion Act of 2010 established the Corporation for Travel Promotion, or Brand USA. This "public-private entity" was tasked with "rekindling the world’s love affair with the USA - the place, the spirit, and the dream,” according to Brand USA's CEO Jim Evans. Brand USA is funded by new taxes imposed on tourists visiting the U.S. and is governed by an 11-member board of directors appointed by Obama's Secretary of Commerce.
Brand USA has recently come out with a series of ads, playing now in the UK, Japan and Canada, that craft a new vision of America for the world to see. The ads are intended to "open up some minds as to what America really is," according to Anne Madison, a Brand USA spokesperson.
But the new ads, titled "Land of Dreams," deviate alarmingly from the patriotic baseball, apple pie and picket fence vision of "traditional" America. In fact, the only cowboy featured in the ad is...raking a beach?
The ads are a dizzying whirlwind of sequences and peculiar staged events, some confoundedly foreign to what might be considered an "American experience."For example, the ad attempts to define America with scenes such as: a man raking a huge sand pattern alone on a beach, two Muslim women in hijabs shopping in New York City, a Hindu festival, a Hispanic biker gang, a traditional African bongo circle under a bridge, a Cuban low-rider parade, a pony-tailed old man in a canoe in a swamp, an interracial marriage ceremony, an Asian grandmother riding a Harley through the forest, a man catching a hawk whilst parachuting over a cliff, and what seems to be a colorful-hippie-powder-blowing-festival (see below).
Two hot political topics are blatantly showcased in the ad. First, it could be mistaken as simply a "visit New Orleans" campaign, with seemingly every other scene including a creole shot from the French Quarter. Ironic, since New Orleans was ranked one of the 10 most dangerous cities in the world this year, despite being the recipient of $142 billion in engorged tax payer spending. Also, the incidence of armed robbery in New Orleans has increased 71% since last year, a national record, and not exactly where you want to send your tourists.
Second, in a prominent scene, two gay men are shown riding a trolley together, one sleeping on the other's shoulder. And the actors featured in the scene are a gay couple who were specifically recruited for a "homosexual presence" in the ad. According to an interview with Outsmart Magazine, the two actors, Edward R. Cox and Gideon Hodge, are to be "Face of Gay America to the World." In the interview, the actors gushed over the role:
"They told us this was the first-ever travel commercial for America. And they wanted gay representation in it!"
The direct connection from the administration to the controversial commercials has now come to light through Obama official John Connor. Connor presently serves as Obama's Director of the Office of White House Liaison at the United States Department of Commerce. He is openly gay and was in charge of Obama's LGBT outreach efforts in the northeastern United States during the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Recent documents uncovered by The Blaze show that Mr. Connor was tasked with creating and organizing Brand USA. Connor is named in Brand USA's incorporation papers, and hand-selected every director on their board.
It seems that the Administration's vision of America is roundly represented in the creation and promotion of these commercials. Soon, ten countries will have the ads flooding their airwaves, with more foreign marketplaces to come. $12.3 million dollars will be spent to promote the ads, not including production costs.
See if you agree with Brand USA, John Connor and the Obama White House's vision of America:
Watch the ad Below:
Read more about the Corporation for Travel Promotion here.
*Editors note: The word 'Burka' has been changed to 'Hijab' to be more accurate.