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Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer objects to being featured in a campaign ad for presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney that aired during Schieffer’s broadcast Sunday.
The ad seems to portray Schieffer wagging a proverbial finger of shame at President Barack Obama for going negative.
In the spot — called “Hope and Change?” — Schieffer can be seen on Face the Nation’s Washington set saying: “When the president was elected, he talked about hope and change. Whatever happened to hope and change? Now, it seems he is just coming right out of the box with these old-fashioned negative ads.”
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The ad ends with Schieffer asking, “What ever happened to hope and change?” And then a still picture of Romney, smiling and holding hands with his wife Ann, appears with the obligatory campaign ad voice-over: “I’m Mitt Romney, and I approved this message.”
Schieffer said on Sunday’s show that the ad was purchased in some CBS markets, unbeknownst to him, and explained that his question was actually posed to Obama senior adviser David Axelrod.
New York Times columnist David Brooks and Time magazine writer and MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin also are featured in the ad. Brooks is a conservative columnist at the Times, and Halperin wrote the book Game Change about the 2008 presidential election that was turned into a Sarah Palin-centric HBO movie.
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“This was done without our permission,” says Schieffer. “It comes as a total surprise to me.”
The Sunday show hosts — who also include NBC’s David Gregory and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos — are in the delicate position of maintaining relationships with Washington’s power elite while also holding them to account journalistically. And Schieffer seemed to appreciate this dichotomy on Sunday when he added, “I’ll get some blowback, that’s for sure.”
Using television reporters in campaign advertisements is nothing new; anchors are in the public domain, and campaigns can use their images under fair use copyright guidelines. But news organizations have complained during this presidential cycle. NBC News asked the Romney campaign to remove Tom Brokaw from a spot against Romney’s former Republican challenger Newt Gingrich. And MSNBC complained to the Obama campaign for putting Ed Schultz in an ad that criticizes Romney’s stand on student loan policy.
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