Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vernon Robinson, NC-13: No Respect for Fallen Soldiers

A few days ago I wrote a post about Vernon Robinson's newest smear ad. You might have had a chance to see it before he had to pull it from the air. Hotline Blog posted about the ad and Factcheck.org debunked every assertion Vernon made or lie he told. If you didn't get a chance to see it, you can visit Youtube.

Pay close attention to the opening shot. Do you recognize the photograph? I didn't either, but the owner of the Pulitzer-Prize winning photograph did and isn't happy about it.

Forget for a minute that this is about stealing someone Else's work. Forget that Vernon Robinson stole the property rights to this image from the owner and used them to smear Brad Miller.

Take a look at the real picture as posted on the Rocky Mountain News along with several others by the same photographer. Read the beautifully written and heart-breaking stories that go with the photographs. After you've dried your eyes - because you will cry - stop and think about what Vernon Robinson actually did in stealing this image.

There was the body of a young marine in that coffin. Standing nearby, there was a young bride, pregnant with her first child waiting for the body of her husband. Behind the photographer, there were family members waiting for the final leg of this young marine's journey to come to an end. While we don't see these people, if you stop and think about this moment, their grief is palpable.

Vernon Robinson, used this fallen soldier for political gain. He used this beautiful image of what was a heartbreaking time for this family to smear another human being.

I'm having a hard time coming up with the words to describe Vernon Robinson's actions. For some reason vile and loathesome just don't cut it. He offers not one redeeming quality. Not one.

He had a chance on FOX News to apologize. He didn't take it. Instead he told a bold-faced lie on national television. On the Hannity and Colmes show he said the ad wasn't broadcast and was only put out on the internet to get feedback. That is a lie. This ad aired 20 - 25 times on News 14 and WMYV and was continuing at the time to run on FOX News broadcasts of the story. Watch the Youtube clip of Vernon's lie.

As I mentioned above, Robinson pulled the ad from the airwaves. However, it wasn't without some prompting. Robinson received a cease and desist order from attorneys for the Rocky Mountain News and it looks like there may be legal action taken against the producer and director of the ad, Kay Daly and Associates out of Charlotte.

I guess when common human decency doesn't prevent you from writing, producing, directing, approving and paying for crap like that, we'll just have to settle for cease and desist orders.

Mea culpa: I also have used a photograph of flag-draped coffins without stopping to think about the men and women who were arriving home in them. While the photograph wasn't used to smear anyone and was actually part of a post about a candlelight vigil in support of the troops, it was still wrong. I have removed the photograph and apologize to the families.


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