Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ads Using Paid Actors To Present Phony Testimonials Need To Be Banned

Both the antiHarold Ford ad and an ad run by Millionaire Republican candidate for Congress in Oregon have something in common. Both use paid actors to read scripts intended to destroy the reputation of their intended targets. Federal trade laws don't allow for phony testimonials for products by paid actors unless clearly noted in the ads.

In the antiHarold Ford ad, a Texas actress who can not even vote for Mr. Ford is used to misrepresent a PLAYBOY sponsored football party that involved 5,000 guests including many celebrities and did not involve any illegal or outrageous activity such as sexual misconduct, drugs or nudity. Yet the Republican paid ad with the actress from Texas who has ever never met Mr. Ford before, and was merely an outrageous fictionalized script meant to conjure up false and inflamatory issues against the intended target. This has to be one of the worst forms of character assassination and use of false recreations of events to destroy a person's reputation. There is no reason why this should not be illegal.

In Oregon, millionaire Republican candidate for Congress, Mike Erikson is using similar false scripted attacks on his opponent, Rep. Darlene Hooley by having paid actors who most likely never ever set foot on Oregon to pose as Oregon voters and read outrageous statements to make it seem as though Rep. Hooley supports cash or other givaways to illegal aliens. Again paid actors are misrepresented as typical voters to create a false impression. Mr. Erikson must realize that trade laws would not alow him to advertize his business interests with such false advertising, yet he finds no problem using such false testimonials to misrepresent his opponent.

There absolutely needs to be a tough federal crackdown on the use of these false testimonial ads. Real voters with real statements that they swear to the truthfulness must only be used in future ads. Fictionalized recreations with paid actors to destroy the reputation of the intended targets is not a fair or honest way to campaign. It also violates the most basic of the Ten Commandments as a "false witness" representation and flunks this important moral code of long held religious Judeo-Christian values. When some feel the need to walk outside of such serious values, then they are not really needed in public offices.


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