Who Are These Men?

Damn, now we’re obsessed again.

We briefly noted yesterday afternoon a photo of three young Latino men branded as ILLEGAL ALIENS in ads by Sharron Angle and David Vitter. The way these things work, we figured it was a stock photo — but looking for it quickly then, and devoting more time to it Wednesday night, we couldn’t turn up the source.

So who are they? Are they models who signed off on a generic contract, and have yet to discover where their faces have turned up? Are they actual illegal immigrants, perhaps photographed for an L.A. Times feature? What’s their story?

Jon Chait at TNR had the same question yesterday afternoon:

What I can’t help wondering is, who are these guys? I doubt they’re actually illegal aliens, because then of course the ad-maker who’s decrying illegal immigration would also be using illegal immigrants…

If the economy doesn’t turn around, modeling shoots for anti-immigration ads is going to be a boom job market for young Latino males.

But Chait is playing it as if this was a custom photo shoot for the ad. We don’t think so, even allowing for economies of scale. It’s a nice photo — and just look how tacky the staged video shots are.

The purpose of this particular photo in this particular context isn’t in doubt, however — unless you’re a certain Cornell law professor who thinks we’re full of shit:

Now I see at Memeorandum that the left blogosphere is in full fledged accusation mode — led of course by Think Progress and Greg Sargent’s sidekick at WaPo — accusing Angle of using “racially-tinged” images in television advertisements.

I’ll have more later, but this is a good sign that the Democrats and their media helpers are so desperate in light of recent polling showing Angle in the lead, that they have to add a pathetic charge of racism to their “extremist” rhetoric.

We might say that Professor Jacobson’s pathetic defense is a good sign that the racism charge is true, but that kind of argument doesn’t go very far: We’re right, he’s wrong, end of discussion.

Which leads us back to the photo itself. Rather than argue over intent, why don’t we nail down a simple fact to provide a basis for conversation?

And so, before this gets out of hand, we have a simple request for the Angle and Vitter campaigns: Release the photo. If you bought it, tell us the source. If you staged it, tell us the circumstances of the shoot, whether the men signed modeling agreements, and whether they knew the purpose of the product.

That’s all we ask. And honestly, we think it’s in your interest to respond. Don’t make us haul out another billboard.

23 Comments

When I saw the ad photos side-by-side in the first post, I noticed that the one on the right has that certain Time Magazine OJ mug shot doctored look. Just throwing that observation out there.

I think the backwards baseball cap and the hoodie on the guy in the middle are supposed to seal the “gang” deal with scared whitey voters. And did you see that Dangerous Not-Whitey Guy Maria Vargas Llosa won the Nobel for literature?

@Dodgerblue: On Monday, I’ll ask the white kids in my class wearing hoodies and backwards baseball caps how much it sucked to get jumped in.

Probably a casting call, like the one the NRSC did in Philly looking for “white hicky men” type actors to be in a West Virginia campaign ad.

@SanFranLefty: Could these guys be playing the Sharks in a revival of West Side Story? Or possibly there’s a Handy Manny musical in the works and they’re trying out for the lead.

“Did you enjoy that Cobb salad and turkey club? Meet the guys who made them!”

Please, God — let some clueless GOPer come with a totally offensive Cheech & Chong reference. Pretty please. I’ve been good.

@chicago bureau: Hey, I loved Cheech & Chong. “Dave’s not here, man!”

@SanFranLefty:

FFS, they had to put out a CALL? I’d have assumed that a sign at the local truck stop offering “FREE SARAH PALIN N00DZ!!” would have drawn plenty of volunteers…

@al2o3cr: That’s the kicker – they weren’t even filming the commercial in West Virginia…they were filming it in Philly.

@Dodgerblue: ever since attorney general john asscrack railroaded tommie chong to the pen on those bogus bong distribution charges, a man can’t find a good u.s bong anywhere, anymore. these new fangled bongs clog too easy, leak, break, and kill my buzz. i guess the republican’ts outsourced all the good bong making jobs overseas with the rest of our manufacturing base.

Professor Jacobson must lead a very lonely life in the People’s Republic of Ithaca.

ADD: Snorri will be very pleased with your Gower Champion reference.

The standard jury instruction in Massachusetts defining “reasonable doubt,” from Commonwealth v. Webster:

Then what is reasonable doubt. It’s a term often used, probably pretty well understood but not easily defined. It is not mere possible doubt, because everything relating to human affairs and depending on fallible evidence is open to some possible or imaginary doubt.

It is that state of the case which, after the entire comparison and consideration of all the evidence, leaves the minds of jurors in that condition that they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction to a moral certainty of the truth of the charge.

The burden of proof is upon the prosecutor. All presumptions of law independent of evidence are in favor of innocence, and every person is presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty.

If upon such proof there is reasonable doubt remaining, the accused is entitled to the benefit of it by an acquittal, for it is not sufficient to establish a probability, though a strong one, arising from the doctrine of chances, that the fact charged is more likely to be true than the contrary, but the evidence must establish the truth of the fact to a reasonable and moral certainty, a certainty that convinces and directs the understanding and satisfies the reason and judgment of those who are bound to act conscientiously upon it.

This we take to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt, because if the law, which mostly depends upon considerations of a moral nature, should go further than this and require absolute certainty, it would exclude circumstantial evidence altogether.

I have heard Judges give this instruction a quadrillion times but it still gives me goosebumps.

@jwmcsame: Well, when I was in college, back in the Stone Age, we used toilet paper tubes with a hole poked in them. Worked pretty well, is my dim recollection.

@Dodgerblue: We used toilet paper rolls as smoke filters. Rubberband a dryer sheet on one end, point dryer sheet end out open window, exhale through the open end. People staggered around the dorms mini-bongs in hand looking for weed handouts. A gallon of water was worth its weight in gold.

ADD: I thought people used lichen and leaves to wipe their asses in the stone age…

@JNOV: I used then-Gov. Reagan’s press releases.

The ease with which you wield your new-found media clout is both frightening and strangely arousing, Nojo.

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