Laughable: Eliot Spitzer Photoshops NY Times Headline in New Ad... Times Ad Watch Totally Misses It

July 26th, 2013 6:57 AM

Jim Swift at noticed Eliot Spitzer did something amazingly sleazy with the New York Times – something the paper hasn’t noticed yet. In a new TV ad pitching himself as the scourge of Wall Street, he edited a July 9 Times subheadline to exclude that in addition to "Instant Pushback" from high finance to his bid for city comptroller,  he’s also opposed by unions and politicians.

Michael M. Grynbaum of the Times did a two-minute video “ad watch” of the 60-second ad that was posted on Tuesday – and obsessed over Spitzer holding glasses in the ad, but somehow missed the blatant edit of the newspaper’s own content:

GRYNBAUM [at 1:00, five seconds after the Times edit washes by in his ad watch]: Watch for this: The glasses. They’re a trope of Eliot Spitzer’s campaign commercials this time around. You don’t often see Eliot Spitzer wear glasses in public, in fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve done so. But they’re featured quite prominently, and it’s part of a broader attempt to bring, uh, a sense of maturity, sort of portraying Eliot more as the wise, contrite man, having gone through what he went through.

As long as we’re being asked to notice stuff, notice that Grynbaum calls him “Eliot,” like they had lunch last week. Grynbaum also, a little less obviously, missed this Times edit when he reported on the ad buy in Wednesday news story with the lunch-buddy-friendly headline "Spitzer Hits the Street, And Doesn't Break a Sweat.":

Mr. Spitzer now has two high-gloss campaign commercials running on cable news stations and local networks, with an initial purchase estimated at more than $400,000. Aides say the campaign, fueled by Mr. Spitzer’s personal fortune, is likely to keep up the televised onslaught in the weeks ahead. The ads portray Mr. Spitzer as an insurgent outsider opposed by a powerful Wall Street establishment.

In a 60-second commercial released on Monday evening, Mr. Spitzer directly addresses the prostitution scandal that ended his governorship, saying: “Look, I failed. Big time.” But he also presents himself as an antagonist to Wall Street and tells voters that if they “hear any negative noise out there — and you will — keep in mind where it’s coming from.”

The commercials, produced by Mr. Spitzer’s longtime ad man, Jimmy Siegel, were filmed and edited in the past two weeks, aides said.

Oh, and how edited they were!  Jimmy Siegel can apparently get away with a little corrupt graphic management. Maybe he bought lunch for Grynbaum. Here's the contrast, as set it up:


As Swift concluded:

It is obvious why Mr. Spitzer’s campaign team would edit the Times  article. Since he’s embracing the whole “Sheriff of Wall Street / Working man” image, it would be pretty silly to leave up a subhed that suggests unions and politicians are pushing back against his candidacy also. That doesn’t comport with the man of the people image.

Creatively editing a headline or a quote from an article in a positive ad, or even an attack ad is nothing new. But, in most cases, they’re direct quotes leading or ending with an ellipsis…

What Spitzer’s team did — actually photoshopping out the words “Unions and Politicans” is quite another. Eliot Spitzer’s back. And if this ad is any indication, he’s more brazen than ever.

[HT Dan Gainor]