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Doctor recommended for optimal cerebral hygiene 

Bush Olympics Revisited

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Yesterday I posted a link to and excerpts from an article in The Guardian about the Bush campaign appropriating the return of Afghanistan and Iraq to the Olympics for political gain in a new advert, as the Brits like to call it.

Well, I'm happy to report that Mr. Donegan got one thing wrong.

He said:
In America this means that the Olympics belong to the US Olympic Committee - a fact that body's officials pointed out when asked to comment on the advert. Or at least they did until they realised that sticking up for themselves would land them in a fight with an administration which has a history of vindictiveness towards those who stand up to it (as the vicious attacks on John Kerry's war record amply illustrate). Now the committee says it will not make any further comment until its lawyers review the tape of the advert.

It doesn't take a Harvard law degree to work out that the [U.S. Olympic Committee] will do or say whatever it takes to avoid a confrontation, although it will take a few days to draft a face-saving excuse to back off.

What a pleasant surprise, then, to fire up the iMac this morning and see this nugget:
USOC asks Bush to pull campaign ad
Officials, athletes upset about president's spot mentioning Olympics

The Associated Press
Updated: 10:31 a.m. ET Aug. 26, 2004

ATHENS, Greece - The U.S. Olympic Committee has asked President Bush’s re-election campaign to pull a television ad that mentions the Olympics.

The USOC is awaiting a response from the re-election campaign, committee spokesman Darryl Seibel said Thursday.

And, in classic Republican form, making false statements insisting that they are true and hoping that no one will notice:
Campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said last week there were no plans to pull the ad.

“We are on firm legal ground to mention the Olympics and make a factual point in a political advertisement,” Stanzel said.

Sorry, Scott, but there's this inconvenient political body, maybe you've heard of it, it's called Congress, and they say otherwise:
The International Olympic Committee and the USOC have the authority to regulate the use of anything involving the Olympics.

An act of Congress, last revised in 1999, grants the USOC exclusive rights to such terms as “Olympic,” derivatives such as “Olympiad” and the five interlocking rings. It also specifically says the organization “shall be nonpolitical and may not promote the candidacy of an individual seeking public office.”

Three cheers for the USOC. Let's hope that they stand their ground and hold the the chronically unaccountable accountable. Too bad that the advert has already aired. Like the libelous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads, the damage is done before anyone can complain about it.