Sen. John McCain continues to harp on Republican primary opponent J.D. Hayworth's appearance in those "free money" commercials. A recent McCain Web ad mixes Hayworth's commercial with images of other well-known infomercials featuring the ShamWow guy, Miss Cleo and D.C.'s question-mark-suit-wearing dude, Matthew Lesko. And now, Lesko is wondering why people can't be more polite.
Apparently, Lesko wasn't asked before he made an appearance in the campaign ad.
"I would have been happy and said yes," Lesko told Yeas & Nays. "It's all about being respectful." He added that he thought maybe it was his kooky infomercial image that caused the McCain folks not to ask permission. "I mean maybe it's hard to see from a guy that screams at you on TV," he said.
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers presumed the montage of these infomercial greats would, perhaps, fall under "fair use."
"I think that would fall under fair use, I think," Rogers said. (Luckily for him, Georgetown University law professor and intellectual property expert Rebecca Tushnet agreed, with more confidence).
"Apparently Matthew Lesko likes it, he enjoys the ad," Rogers went on to say. "He tweeted this morning that he's featured in a McCain campaign ad."
Lesko originally tweeted that he was in an ad for McCain, then complained about it later. "John McCain's team didn't ask permission to use my commercial footage in their ad. I'm flabbergasted," Lesko tweeted Tuesday evening.
Despite his disagreement with the McCain campaign's "impoliteness," it does seem that the two can agree on something: Neither cares much for the Florida-based "free money" company Hayworth was working for.
"I tell you, the guy who [Hayworth] did this with is one of the people I hate," Lesko said. "These are terrible people in my mind."
Contributed by Jesse McLean