The Jawa Report, which tracked this anti-Palin YouTube to a previously little-known Democratic P.R. guy, and spun a rather vast conspiracy from that, gets a statement from him taking credit for the video, and denying he did it at the Obama campaign's behest. (The slender evidence of an Obama link: The voiceover artist sounds kind of similar to one used by the campaign.)
The P.R. guy, Ethan Winner, emails the Jawas:
I produced and posted on the Internet the video entitled "Sarah Palin: A Heartbeat Away."
The idea for the video was mine. No one paid me to produce it. The only out-of-pocket cost will be the fee for the voice-over narrator, which I will pay personally when I receive an invoice. Contrary to the allegation in the Jawa Report, the voice-over artist has never done any work for the Obama campaign. I retained her through a talent agency based solely on the quality of her voice.
Neither the Obama campaign nor any independent political action committee has had a connection with the making and/or posting of this video. Just like the thousands of Americans who have posted videos on the Internet regarding the current Presidential campaign, I produced this video as an expression of my right to free speech, which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Some people have asked why I have pulled the video from the Internet. The reason is simple. Following the posting of personal information about me by the Jawa Report, my family began to receive threatening and abusive phone calls and emails.
(His ad is inaccurate: Though it popped up when the Alaska Independence Party was still claiming Palin was a member, documents have since shown she wasn't, though her husband was.)
The episode, to my mind, reflects some of the best and the worst of distributed online journalism: Solid, fact-based reporting that actual answers an open question. But it's driven by theories that just aren't substantiated. And indeed, the reporting probably wouldn't get done if the reporters didn't assume the worst.
In this case, the question answered is basically trivial -- they found a pro-am, in webbie parlance, who produced his own attack ad. In other cases, like that of Sarah Palin's baby, the chase for one alleged prurient secret kicks out another and mostly generates sympathy for the chasee.
And in case you didn't know it, there's no promise of anonymity online.