Wednesday, March 15, 2006
By Michelle Krupa and Frank Donze
Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu might have been a theater major in college, but his campaign staff says he wasn't aiming to grab the spotlight when he went on camera in the days after Hurricane Katrina rescuing children and elderly residents from their flooded homes.
The video, which became part of Landrieu's first TV ad in his bid to be New Orleans' next mayor, sparked controversy last week when a political blogger suggested that the rescue scenes were staged, complete with eyeliner and foundation for the headliner.
The message said (Videographer Neil) Alexander "ran into" Landrieu by chance while he was "on rescue missions alongside Wildlife and Fisheries agents and first responders."
Scott Shalett, a senior adviser to the Landrieu campaign, said his staff didn't even know the footage existed until late December, when the filmmakers contacted them to peddle their wares. Seeing political potential in the 10-minute portion that features Landrieu, the campaign bought a copy early this month for $3,000, Shalett said.
"People send photos all the time to us," said Shalett, who has taken a leave of absence as the lieutenant governor's chief of staff to work for the campaign.
Shalett said he would not "respond to these partisan attack blogs," though he did debunk one of the claims. "There was no makeup," he said.
LPNS COMMENTARY: YESTERDAY THEY SAID THEY MET "BY CHANCE." TO WHICH WE REPLIED "FAT CHANCE." TODAY THEY CLAIM THAT THERE WAS "NO MAKEUP" AND THEY "RAN INTO THEM" AND DIDN'T KNOW THE FILM EXISTED UNTIL LAST WEEK.
THE NEXT THING THEY WILL SAY IS THERE IS "NO COVERUP" AND MITCH'S DEGREE IN THEATRE WAS A B.A. AND NOT JUST A B.S.!
Related story- "Mitch's Antics Reach A Comedy Point" : http://www.thedeadpelican.com/rants.htm