Thursday, August 31, 2006

Photo tip: If your name is Joe Lieberman don't make a California sunset stand in for a Connecticut sunrise

I'm guessing that what prompted Lieberman campaign spokesperson Dan Gerstein to call this a sunrise in the first place was nothing more complicated than a tendency to shoot from the hip coupled with a reflexive tendency to contradict anything the Lamont camp says. That's what got him in trouble.

Sunrise, sunset -- it originally didn't matter in a TV spot that charitably might have been described as a lame attempt at offbeat campaign humor. It was when the Lamont people started mocking the sunset as the perfect metaphor for Lieberman's career that Gerstein spoke up and the fireworks began.
"It's actually a sunrise," Gerstein said Tuesday. "It's very much a sunrise."
Gerstein's belligerent certainty drove the netroots into a frenzy of research that quickly paid off. Not only was the stock footage not a sunrise, but it wasn't shot in Connecticut, either. Soon, the Lieberman campaign was found guilty not only of fudging the chronology, but the geography as well.
Actually, it's very much a sunset, as pro-Lamont bloggers gleefully pointed out. They even tracked down the video used in the ad on the Getty Images Web page. Clip 843-2: "Wide shot sun setting over ocean/ birds walking along water's edge/ Santa Barbara."
Critics haven't had as much fun with the position of a sunset since the days of the old John Wayne vehicle, "The Green Berets." This whole controversy seems ironic to me, since I myself passed off a sunset as a sunrise in Letter from Here just last Monday. But I offered a full disclosure and pleaded poetic license. And I wasn't struggling to retain my U.S. Senate seat after losing the Democratic primary.

Note to Dan Gerstein: In the future, you might want to avoid making assertions of fact that can easily be falsified with a bit of internet research. The woods are full of volunteer researchers.

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