Refresh the great 2008-focused website FiveThirtyEight.com enough and you'll see a left-hand banner ad for John McCain, one of his new ones out. Against a dim backdrop of random cheering supporters, it flashes the script: "One man has the experience. One man has the courage. One man has our trust" -- and then finishes with an old shot of a younger McCain, waving, looking about the same as he does here:
It's the only image of McCain in the ad; there's no current photograph at all. I don't feel this is kosher! It implies that the McCain you're getting now is the exact same one -- both inside and out -- that you would have gotten had he run in 1980, which isn't true of any politician, much less McCain. And what other current pol does this? It's standard practice to use some archival footage when you've got a long career, but could Fred Thompson, who was constantly derided for his grizzled one-too-many-cigars mug and its unappetizing contrast with his wife's youthful look, have gotten away with running an ad featuring only images from his strapping Watergate days? Could Hillary have freshened herself up by twenty or thirty years without being mocked? Could an ad for a new Sean Connery feature use the photo below without instantly becoming a ridiculous travesty against the barest-minimum standards of truth in advertising?