You all know about the anti-AARP ad that usanext.org had over at the American Spectator website a week ago. The one with a soldier getting X-ed out:
Today on usanext.org's home page is an ad/link to the American Legion
's Legislative Action Center
(LAC under the capwiz.com domain and not legion.org for some reason). Here it is:
It's the same soldier.
What, if anything can we conclude from that?
It seems like the first ad was the one with the X-ed out soldier, and that the American Legion subsequently contracted with usanext.org for an ad, which presumably was created in the usanext.org shop. But that doesn't seem quite right. It's hard to believe that the American Legion would let an outside entity create graphics for their ads. Major organizations do not usually allow their reputation to be in the hands of others. But maybe that's what happened in this case.
This is not a big deal, but it is puzzling.
I find this intriguing because USA Next used a personal photo (the gay wedding) without permission -- and they may be facing legal problems over it. I wonder if the photo of the soldier is just a stock photo or they just grabbed something they had on hand -- like the LAC ad image.
I doubt that it's an advertisement. I would guess that USANext created it to 1) attempt to establish credibility by linking itself to the Legion and 2) create the impression that USANext actually has a stake in "supporting the troops" in the wake of the backlash from the AARP ad.
Nextblogging is right - the best way to shoot down photoshopped propaganda is to track down the original photo and stir up issues with rights and permissions (both of the photographer and the people in the photo).
That's what happened here.
We wouldn't be surprised. The Legion has gotten a lot of flak from some of its members over the years for increasing closeness to the Republican Party and its agenda, and if you read the Legion magazine you'll note a fair helping of Mighty Wurlitzer propaganda in the stories and what they cover.
We'd say that it would be a target of opportunity for liberals who want to stage the sort of attack on an organization that is supposed to be ideologically unbiased but is not, like what conservatives have been trying to do with universities and the media, but for the fact that the Legion's origins are sort of cryptofascist to begin with.
First impression I had when I glanced at the story was that the soldier and the guy on the right in the kissing pic were the same person, and that must be what the fuss is about. While They do certainly look alike.