Jack Approved But Did Everyone Else?

Jack Nicholson appears in an ad for Hilary Clinton (video below). But who approved the ad is a multi- level question. Huffington Post claims “The Hillary Clinton Campaign released a video starring Jack Nicholson today.” The New York Times, however, noted “The video was not posted by the Clinton campaign, and somehow we doubt Mr. Nicholson checked with Mark Penn before choosing the clips.” The Times also points out that even in the YouTube arena Barak Obama seems to be ahead. Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas released a “video on Feb. 29, and it already has more than 190,580 views. (By comparison, the Nicholson video, which has been out for about 15 hours, has 518 views.)” Hmm maybe it is a sign that these crazy kids are focused on their people not their parents’ or grandparents’ icon. Take a look at the two ads. The Obama supporting video captures a feeling (uplifting, part of a movement, and of course that means a little disturbing in its fervor) whereas the Clinton supporting video is the leaving generation’s icon, by himself, making a negative point.

The Jack ad may be correct that one should see what exactly Obama offers as opposed to Clinton. But then again since when is one qualified to be the President? Job experience? All three, McCain, Clinton, and Obama can’t really claim experience: “Well no I have not been President That is why I am running. (In the interviewee’s head: Is this question for real? The last guy came in having run a few corps into the ground and lead a state where the governor sort of hangs out.)” Clear plan for the future? “Well it is complicated and folks don’t seem to want details which is nice because really how could one claim to figure all that out before one has the job?”

Now back to the ads. Yes the wonderful world of the Internet and YouTube and mashups is ever more upon us and someone will say the MTV is to balme for the YouTube generation’s further lack of interest in issues. Maybe but this could be a so it goes moment. Still who approved this stuff?

Did the Clinton Campaign? If so as the Times notes the choice of Nicholson’s sinister characters such as The Joker and Col. Jessup for the clips is odd to say the least. The lines in the films ooze irony. In the mashup they are offered at face value as if no one knows those roles in their first context. And no, the ads do not manage to change the context; for if anything Nicholson is known for his wry, dark characters and delivery. Heck just look at the end of the mashup where he says in that Jack voice “I’m Jack Nicholson and I approve this message.” His approval is not supposed to be the point for politics; the candidate’s is. And now for the part of being an IP professor that drives one a bit nuts. Did the studios approve of the ad? Warner Bros. seems happy to go after Rowling’s alleged nemesis. Will it go after Jack? What about Columbia Pictures (A Few Good Men) or Paramount (Chinatown)? I’m not saying they should or that they have a good claim but that has not stopped such acts before. Will they bow to Jack or hold their position and declare his ad to be unauthorized copyright use?


Here is the Jack ad:

And here is the Will.i.am ad

cross posted at Madisonian

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