Rewriting the Bush-Hitler-MoveOn story

Captain Drum quotes (washingtonmonthly. com/archives/individual/2004_07/004240.php) this LAT report:
Last week, the Bush campaign e-mailed a 78-second video to millions of supporters that included images of Adolf Hitler amid a stream of Democrats inveighing against the president.

Ensuing protests over the video's use of images of the Nazi dictator led Bush aides to add a 20-second disclaimer saying the Hitler clips had first been used against him by liberal opponents.
To which, the Captain has this to say:
This, of course, is a lie, although Anderson does not bother to point it out. The clips are from an ad that was submitted to a MoveOn contest and then specifically rejected and denounced by MoveOn, so the Hitler images were first used by "liberal opponents" only if "liberal opponents" means "some guy with access to the internet."
Let's take a trip through the Drudge archives and see what we can find.

First, we get Margaret Cho at a MoveOn fundraiser from Jan. 14, 2004 (not 2003 as the text says):
"Despite all of this stupid bullsh-- that the Republican National Committee, or whatever the f--- they call them, that they were saying that they're all angry about how two of these ads were comparing Bush to Hitler? I mean, out of thousands of submissions, they find two. They're like fu--ing looking for Hitler in a hawstack. You now? I mean, George Bush is not Hitler. He would be if he fu--ing applied himself." big, extended applause) "I mean he just isn't."
OK, so that doesn't have much to do with the videos, other than pointing out that comparisons between Bush and Hitler are considered comedy material by the MoveOn crowd.

Moving on, this entry (Jan. 4) refers to the first Bush-Hitler video, but only after it had been removed. However, that was before MoveOn's apology.

The next day (Jan. 5), Drudge finds that a second Bush-Hitler ad had been streamed on MoveOn's site: "THE NEW HITLER SPOT FEATURED THE GRAPHIC 'SPONSORED BY MOVEON.ORG.'" (I saved the MoveOn finalists, and none of them had that same graphic. People can claim things that aren't true. Or, perhaps it was truly sponsored by MoveOn.)

Two days later (Jan. 7), Drudge has this to say:
Wed Jan 07 2004 17:06:59 ET One of the finalists of the ad contest is responsible for another heinous web video that compares Bush to Hitler, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

An ad by "Take Back the Media" is one of 15 Finalists in's Bush in 30 Seconds Commercial Contest. The ARMY OF ONE flash animation has been chosen out of over 1000 submission by nearly 3 million votes online.

But currently streaming on the Take Back site with ARMY OF ONE is another shocking advert -- alleging Bush/Nazi ties!
The Bush-Hitler ads were "specifically rejected" by MoveOn only after they received complaints. Whether MoveOn's management was aware of them before receiving complaints is still an open question.

Screengrabs of MoveOn's site or of discussion forums could be of use if we want to find out what they knew when. Their complete innocence in the matter - such as that proferred by Kevin Drum - is still open to debate.

And, still unexplained is why there were 15 finalists, but they were numbered 1 through 17 with two empty spaces.