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If there’s one thing that angers America-loving conservatives, it’s people not showing enough deference on 9/11. The former Navy SEAL who was on the bin Laden raid, for example, has gone full Twitter cop to any representative who isn’t posting about the day.
Many also become angry when brands co-opt 9/11 for well wishes and product placement. Enter Rudy Giuliani, who was the mayor of New York City during 9/11. This morning (at 2:00am) he posted a video, saying, “GOD BLESS AMERICA”— but it was more than just a display of patriotism.
GOD BLESS AMERICA! pic.twitter.com/VklXvWggKJ— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) September 11, 2019
The video shows police cracking down on protesters—after scenes of U.S. soldiers and high school football players—and the video closes with the words “this we’ll always defend” after an officer whips out a nightstick.
As the surprise ending reveals, it’s an ad for a clothing company.
The video is the work of Grunt Style, which is an “attitude”-obsessed clothing company that has website copy straight from 2011: “It’s about attitude! We have taken the American fighting spirit and instilled it in everything we do. You don’t have to be a Veteran to wear Grunt Style, but you do have to love Freedom, Bacon and Whiskey. We provide more than apparel, we instill pride.”
The ad Giuliani shared, the company claimed, was made for the Super Bowl in 2018, but Grunt Style decided not to air it because it was “too big a money risk” even though the company also claims to “never back down.”
Nevertheless, it “would have changed the game,” the company adds.
Here’s the copy of the ad, where they do say they support the right to protest, but also the right to rough up protesters who get out of line.
This commercial was intended to be our commercial in the Big Game (you know the one). We weren’t denied or rejected by anyone, it was our own decision to not run it. In the end we just couldn’t take the big money risk. This commercial shows what we stand for. We support our military. We support the police. We support everyone’s right to protest. Protest peacefully.
In this commercial you see the story of one man’s journey of service. From watching 9/11 unfold on TV to his time in the military and now serving again as a police officer. He has served his country and has held the line. He is doing so here. First protecting protesters and protecting their right to assemble, and when things turn violent, he and his fellow police officers do not run, they defend the line.
Giuliani’s plug of it struck some as an endorsement of fascism on 9/11. In fact, the video even shows anti-fascist protesters.
welp it's just Mayor 9/11 celebrating fascism on 9/11 day https://t.co/hkxrqSM7io— Tom Tomorrow (@tomtomorrow) September 11, 2019
This looks like the ad for a post-9/11 fascism horror film akin to The Purge. This is seriously messed up nationalist propaganda. https://t.co/8OECGrISRO— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) September 11, 2019
Posting a vid on 9/11 of a vet-turned-cop (who was "motivated" by 9/11) preparing to assault protesters pretty much sums up Rudy Giuliani's entire worldview https://t.co/Kz0ELxB1yt— jordan (@JordanUhl) September 11, 2019
At least he’s not posting about QAnon today.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]