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Campaign ads using TV news footage begs the question: Where to draw the line in clipping scenes?



wftvT.jpgThe move by Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV to explain its presence in an ad by GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott reminded me of a different commercial aired weeks ago.

That commercial, featured on a website connected to the Florida Democratic Party called WhatisRickScottHiding, strung together a bunch of snipped comments from TV anchor and reporters questioning matters related to the fraud allegations against one of Scott's former companies and other issues. But the effect was as if a legion of TV journalists were suddenly pronouncing the candidate a shady character.

WFTV was forced to explain that Scott's people pulled snippets from a report they did on investments for the state of Florida that lost massive amounts under Democratic candidate Alex Sink's watch as CFO.  Their report -- basically an attempt to tell viewers they weren't taking sides -- wound up looking like a bit of a commercial for Sink, answering one of the major criticisms Scott has launched at her; that she wasn't a great steward of the state's financial interests.

Candidates have often used snippets of news stories to bolster their claims or criticize opponents. But this is the first time I can recall seeing ads framed to make it seem as if the TV reporters themselves were criticizing a candidate, forcing at least one TV station to try and explain further.

Wonder how long it will take before Sink uses footage from WFTV's story in one of her ads?

Click here to see WFTV story; look below to see anti-Scott ad.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11:10am]


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