Paul Wells, who apparently blogs and tweets in his sleep, wrote a fine critique of the Quebec Liberal Party’s new ad the other day. I can’t add much, except to say that by simply slowing down the tape of Pauline Marois and adding a nightscope-coloured tinge to it, the PLQ managed to do in 15 seconds what the Conservatives couldn’t in double that time with eery music, throaty narration and a closeup of Thomas Mulcair that makes him look like an unhinged Manatee: damning a political opponent with their own gestures. It’s amazingly effective.
So effective, in fact, that the man who shot the original footage of Marois has demanded that the PLQ remove the add, or face possible legal consequences. Guy Séguin sent the PLQ a ‘mise en demeure’, a wonderful French phrase that translates to the rather boring ‘letter of demand’, saying the party hadn’t asked for permission to use the footage.
What follows is the (translated) response from Karl Blackburn, the PLQ’s Director-General, dated June 26, 2012. Righteous and pissy, it’s like the paper version of another attack ad.
With this, I respond to your email and our brief telephone conversation this morning. I also take into account the number of interviews you gave on the subject of the images incorporated in a Liberal Party of Quebec ad.
The images in question were obtained from the Facebook page of Roland Richer, the Parti Québécois candidate in the district of Argenteuil [ed’s note: Richer won that election in a big way against the Liberals two weeks ago, but never mind…]. The latter broadcast the images in a political and partisan fashion, with no reserve and with the explicit or implicit consent of the person who filmed them. The same images on other explicitly political websites, as well as being available on your Facebook page, as you mentioned in interviews today.
You’ll understand that we are astonished that you are today affirming that you didn’t consent that these images be reproduced or used to political ends, or otherwise.
As well, in consulting your Facebook page “Get rid of the Liberals”, which is emblazoned with our logo, I realized that you yourself are broadcasting a parody of an ad that we paid for and authorized. It seems to us that you well understand the political context in which your material was used.
Your demand quite surprised us, and we think it’s unfounded.
As La Clique put it this morning, Oh Snap!