Accuracy in Media

Virginia Senate Democratic candidate James Webb’s campaign rejected a request from former first lady Nancy Reagan to stop using footage of her late husband in their campaign ads.

The Washington Post quoted a letter from the chief of staff at the Reagan Library in California and faxed to the campaign Friday at 5 p.m. as saying “Using the president’s name, image or likeness implies endorsement which is neither fair nor respectful of any candidate, certainly not after President Reagan’s death,” wrote Joanne Drake. “At the direction of Mrs. Reagan, please refrain.”

Webb campaign spokeswoman Kristian Denny Todd told the Post that they rejected this request because “It doesn’t imply an endorsement” and accused the George Allen campaign of playing partisan politics.

It is amazing how Todd could say this when the ad shows Reagan praising Webb’s gallantry in Vietnam as his image morphs in Webb as a Marine.  It sure seems like this is both partisan and an endorsement.

The campaign’s refusal to remove the footage of Reagan is both disrespectful to the Reagan family and deceitful to the voters in Virginia.

If Webb is really as gallant as Reagan said he was in 1985, then he should do the right thing and remove the offending footage.

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