Sunday, February 3, 2008

McConnell ad with U of L doctors criticized

First, the ad:

Nothing especially egregious. It features U of L physicians saying a bunch of nice things about the university and medical research, connecting them to Sen. Mitch McConnell's moneybag tactics in Washington.

Well according to the C-J's piece the physicians, along with U of L President, James Ramsey and Dr. Donald Miller, director of the Uof L Brown Cancer Center, didn't know the comments would be used for television or re-electing McConnell.

"Two of three University of Louisville physicians who made videotaped statements of support for U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell last year say they didn't realize their comments would be part of a television ad for the senator's re-election campaign...

Ramsey said he initially believed the videos would be used only on a McConnell Web site. Had he known they'd be broadcast more widely in televised campaign commercials, he said, he would have handled things differently. 'I should have known that anything that goes on the Web is public domain.'

Dr. Larry Cook, U of L's executive vice president for health affairs, and Dr. Donald Miller, director of the Brown Cancer Center, said in interviews that they believed their testimonials would appear only on the Web, and not in television ads.

Dr. Laman Gray, chief of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, whose video appeared on the campaign Web site, said he wasn't sure how the video was going to be used."

I'm sorry.

You have to be incredibly naive to believe that in an election year a Machiavellian politician won't use your words to stay in office.

Also, a question for President Ramsey: why does it matter if the videos were web-exclusive? If the university prohibits employees from using their affiliation to make political endorsements, the ads being made -- not being more widely viewed -- should be the problem. Right?

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