Yesterday while guest hosting the Jay Thomas Show on WDAY AM970 in Fargo I interviewed Sara Otte Coleman from the North Dakota Tourism Department about those Measure 5 ads featuring people who don’t support Measure 5. I had some questions about how footage shot for a tourism ad for the state ended up in a political ad. I think the men who found themselves in that political ad, despite not supporting Measure 5, had the same questions.
Coleman told me that the marketing firm working for the pro-Measure 5 side contacted them about using the footage. Initially the tourism department demurred, not liking the idea of the use of their footage for politics, but the pro-Measure 5 side pushed the issue and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem found in their favor.
The Tourism Department had to release the footage. Coleman said that once they knew the footage was going to be used in ad they sent letters to the people in the footage to warn them, but not all of them got the message. So some had warning. Others were blindsided.
Yet, that’s revealing isn’t it? This wasn’t just some accident that these men were in this ad. The Measure 5 campaign pushed hard to get the footage.
You have to wonder, why did the Measure 5 people push so hard to use this footage? Did they not realize that the people in the footage might not support their cause? Could they not find enough of their actual volunteers to film an ad? Did they not care?
And then this happened. While I was on-air, the North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks decided to start a Twitter war.
When I linked on Twitter to my post about the sexism charges being tossed about over the pro-Measure 5 campaign’s phony teacher commercial, I got these pretty remarkable responses from their official Twitter account which is apparently being run by a middle schooler:
The accusations of sexism and cyberbullying aren’t really all that important (except that this is apparently how a multi-million dollar campaign wants to spend the closing weeks of the election), but the post dismissing complaints from Measure 5 opponents about being used in pro-Measure 5 ads is just amazing.
I wrote yesterday about the gentlemen who thought they were just filming a tourism ad for the State of North Dakota but ended up in a political ad for something they oppose. A couple of those guys say the ad is now leaving them wounded, professionally, and at least one is considering legal action.
And the response from the North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife, and Parks? A virtual middle finger.
I think this is what losing ugly looks like.
Dickinson Press editor Dustin Monke sums it up nicely, I think:
— Dustin Monke (@monkebusiness) October 24, 2014