It was a video that was supposed to elicit soaring patriotism and real emotions about the Pledge of Allegiance. But to do that, it used fake soldiers and a staged military funeral instead of the real thing.
On Tuesday night, 15-year-old Victoria Blackstone, a sophomore at the St. Agnes School in St. Paul, led the crowd at the Xcel Energy Center in the Pledge of Allegiance. The audience heard her 434-word essay, "Pledging myself to the Flag of the United States of America," an essay she'd entered in the "Wave the Stars & Stripes" essay contest and won. The RNC turned that essay into a three and a half minute video, a visually stirring montage rolling over Victoria's words about sharing the Pledge with Americans who have stood at important moments in history.
There's the Continental Congress...A real WWII vet...Photos of workers at Ground Zero. A close-up of a folded flag presented to a grieving widow at a military funeral...profiles of soldiers swelling with pride in slo-motion.
But CBS News found that the footage of the 'funeral' and soldiers is what is called 'stock' footage. The soldiers were actors and the funeral scene was from a one-day film shoot, produced in June. No real soldiers were used during production.
The footage, sold by stock-film house Getty Images was produced by a commercial filmmaker in Chicago. Both Getty and the production company, Mr. Big Films, confirmed that the footage was shot on spec and sold to the Republican National Committee.
One of the actors, Perry Denton of Chicago, Ill. also confirmed that he was hired on a day-rate as an actor for the shoot and told CBS News he was surprised to learn the footage was shown at the convention.
And from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Eighty-one veterans, all with health problems, have been told they must find another place to live by Nov. 30 because budget cuts are forcing the state to close the Milledgeville domiciliary unit at the Georgia War Veterans Home.
The Georgia Department of Veterans Affairs has proposed saving $2.7 million out of its budget by closing the domiciliary, which resembles an old college dorm with communal dining room near the lobby.
Assistant Commissioner Len Glass said about half the displaced veterans will go either to the state veterans hospital units that provide full nursing care or to the federal Veteran's Administration's domiciliary in Dublin. He said the agency was helping the rest of the veterans find new homes — maybe with relatives or friends.
And in Canada: a poll shows public support for the war in Afghanistan is at the lowest point ever.
Another three Canadians killed this week.
Bring them home now.