Thursday, October 06, 2005

Truth in advertising

Just a week after Karen Hughes went to the Middle East to spin for Dubya's GWOT comes this embarrassing story in Thursday's Wall Street Journal (subs. req'd):

What descends "from the heavens" and "unleashes hell?" Boeing and Textron intended the answer to be their revolutionary tilt-rotor aircraft, the V-22 Osprey, which is designed to drop troops into battle zones. Instead, it was an ad for the aircraft that struck like a bolt from the blue. Appearing in last week's National Journal, the ad kicked up a cultural dust storm by depicting an assault on a mosque under an apocalyptic headline that used the heaven-and-hell theme.

The two companies quickly pulled the ad once the complaints came in, but the fact that defence companies saw it as useful to have a military action ad in a magazine read heavily by lobbyists and political hacks is a perfect illustration of how the military industrial complex is alive and well.

One other thing. In explaining how the "mistake" occurred, it emerges that:

What appeared in the National Journal was meant to be an early version of an ad designed to show the Osprey's ability to whisk troops to the heart of a battle, Textron's Bell unit says. The photograph of the street scene, featuring a building with Mohammed's Mosque inscribed in Arabic, was taken at a movie set in Texas.

Hmmm. What well-known Texan might find it useful to have a movie set of a Middle Eastern war that can be made to look somewhat convincingly like the real thing?

UPDATE: Related material from Free Stater.

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