START Advocacy Group's Ad a Rip-Off of Deep Impact, Says Paramount Pictures
1:47 PM, Dec 8, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
In their aggressive push to ratify the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the Obama administration has been wholly unimpressive in the messaging department. Calling the small, bilateral treaty the most pressing "national security issue" of our time, for example, is cause for head scratching. That's especially true while the Pentagon is prosecuting a long, tough war against Islamic extremism.
But the administration's messaging hasn't been quite as overwrought as this "ratify START" ad from the liberal advocacy group Campus Progress (based out of the Center for American Progress), which uses footage from the asteroid apocalypse flick Deep Impact in the stead of an actual nuclear detonation.
Unsurprisingly, the Hollywood effects are somewhat more devastating than an actual nuclear blast - with the asteroid's collision causing a kinetic ripple that touches the upper echelons of the atmosphere and sizable portion of the northern hemisphere.
This isn't some small advocacy piece put together by a group of enterprising young college students. The 30 second spot has been running all week on MSNBC's Morning Joe, a pricey venue for a non-profit group.
Aside the inference that ratifying START will somehow protect America from rogue meteors, Campus Progress also apparently forgot to ask Hollywood for rights to the short clip. When asked whether Paramount Pictures is now in defacto support of START ratification, a studio spokesperson told THE WEEKLY STANDARD:
"We can confirm that we were not asked and did not provide permission for the use of the [Deep Impact] footage. We are looking into the matter."
While the ad may not be posted on the Campus Progress website or YouTube for much longer, there's still time to savor the ultimate irony of the error: in Deep Impact's climax, humanity is delivered from extinction by ... nuclear weapons.