February 6, 2012

This one seems really dumb as the National Football League seems to be saying Chrysler infringed on its copyright of "Halftime." Another odd thing about this is that there are plenty of other versions still to be found at YouTube, but the official one at the YouTube Chrysler channel was taken down.

(EDIT: It's working now, probably after someone with some clout rectified the situation.)

Marketwatch has some details and reaction to the ad.

The Clint Eastwood ad during the Super Bowl — catch it here because it’s been blocked by YouTube after the NFL alleged a copyright infringement — could be viewed as a simple celebration of the recovery of bankrupt Chrysler. But the political overtones were easy to see as well: “Halftime in America” could be interpreted as a rallying call for a second term for President Barack Obama, who pushed ahead with a bailout of Chrysler and General Motors (read more on GM’s financial results on WSJ.com) despite objections from Republicans, including his likely presidential opponent, Mitt Romney.

“Saving the America Auto Industry: Something Eminem and Clint Eastwood can agree on,” tweeted Dan Pfeiffer, the White House spokesman. Added David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist: “Powerful spot.” Filmmaker Michael Moore was a bit more direct (and apologies for the Twitterese): “Your sermon seemed 2 b a call 2 give O his ‘second half.’”

The former Republican mayor of Carmel, Calif. wasn’t universally loved. “WTH? Did I just see Clint Eastwood fronting an auto bailout ad???” said Michelle Malkin, the conservative blogger. “I think Clint Eastwood’s credentials as a conservative have been overrated for some time,” added David Limbaugh, the brother of Rush and himself a conservative author.

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The right-winger's unsurprisingly negative reaction is made all the more ironic considering what pains Chrysler took to make the ad as "inoffensive" as possible, even going so far as to edit out pro-union signs. Via The Nation:

At the fifty-second point in the ad, images from last year’s mass pro-union protests in Madison, Wisconsin, were featured.

But something was missing: union signs.

The images from Madison were taken from a historic video by Matt Wisniewski, a Madison photographer whose chronicling of the protests drew international attention and praise. Wisniewski’s work went viral, and was even featured in a video by rocker Tom Morello.

Chrysler used Wisniewski's award-winning video with permission. But the union presence—and some Wisconsin history—was lost in translation.

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