Democrats Show Flag-Draped Coffins in Campaign Ad, Will Media be Outraged?

July 12th, 2006 10:22 PM

The MRC’s Rich Noyes noticed that a new campaign ad for Congressional Democrats shows a picture of American flag-draped coffins in its vignette (hat tip to Drudge). Given the media outrage concerning President Bush using 9/11 images in his 2004 advertisements, this raises the question as to whether the press are going to be equally disgusted by such imagery when it is employed by Democrats two years later.

The video in question is currently posted at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee website, and shows a variety of images including a satellite picture of Hurricane Katrina approaching New Orleans, the devastation caused by the hurricane, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, war pictures from Iraq, and at one point, flag-draped coffins presumably of American soldiers.

As the MRC reported on March 12, 2004, when a campaign ad for the re-election of President Bush that year showed images of the 9/11 attacks on America, the media were quite outraged:

Setting up a story on Bush’s new TV ads, World News Tonight anchor Charles Gibson Thursday night on ABC noted how “in suburban New York today, President Bush helped break ground for a 9/11 memorial. The President made no remarks at the somber ceremony, but he did say earlier the lesson of 9/11 is to deal with threats before they fully materialize.” Gibson asserted: “The President, as you probably know, used scenes from Ground Zero in his first campaign ads that were broadcast. That ignited a debate about whether it’s appropriate to use such images in an election campaign.

On March 11, 2004, now retired anchor Tom Brokaw stated the following on the NBC “Nightly News”:

The President today also shrugged off critics who’ve complained that he’s politicizing the September 11th attacks, appearing today at a groundbreaking at a 9/11 memorial in suburban New York. The Bush campaign is using an image of the World Trade Center in another television ad. A spokesmen says that ad will not be pulled.

At the same time, Ann Curry said the following on NBC’s “Today” show:

More fallout expected today from President Bush's re-election ads that feature images from 9/11. Family members of some of the victims of the World Trade Center attacks say they will protest the President's attendance at a groundbreaking ceremony for a 9/11 memorial on New York's Long Island.

Should we expect the same outrage from the press concerning this campaign video by Congressional Democrats, or are such images only verboten when used by a politician the press despises?