An e-mail between the Lawson campaign and MEI Political casts doubt on claims the Republican candidate was duped by media production company over whether Morgan Freeman really provided the voiceover for the ad.
MEI forwarded to several media outlets the following e-mail, which clearly states a voice double would be used for the ad. The Lawson campaign provided another e-mail exchange that appears to state the real Freeman would be doing the voiceover. mei_lawson.pdf
Read below the fold for more info on MEI.
I hope the campaign is going well. We talked a while back. I just wanted to let you know that if you're interested, I am going to have the several celebrities in studio this week to record some campaign ads for radio and TV...Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammer, John Ratzenberger, Powers Booth, John O'Hurley, Pat Boone, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Craig T. Nelson, Rabert Davi, Morgan Brittany and probably Ben Stein and Robert Duvall. I could have them cut an ad for you if you're interested. Some are particularly good for targeting specific voter demographics or issues, and I could have an ad scripted, shot and ready to air within a couple days.
I'll also have the personal voice doubles for Morgan Freeman, William Shatner, Donald Sutherland, Sam Elliott, Queen Latifah, John Goodman, and Ray Romano in studio cutting ads for us. A voice double is the person hired by a celebrity to do "voice matching" for the celeb when they are unavailable to re-record audio in post on a project. The audience never notices the difference. It's one of those little secrets of Hollywood. We've used them with great success in political ads. We of course never say that they are the actual celebrity, but voters recogniza their voice and trust it.
Would you like for me to have any of those record a radio or tv spot for you? I think you'll find that these celebrity endorsement ads have proven to be big game changers in past races especially when released in the final weeks of the race. They ad a lot of class to a campaign and people trust a voice or face they know. It also generates a lot of earned media. You can go to our website at www.meipolitical.com to check out some of our celebrity radio and tv ads from past campaigns.
Just let me know if you would be interested. I'll have them in studio this week, so you'd need to let me know today or tomorrow. Thanks.
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[END OF E-MAIL]
Whatever the truth, MEI Political has dubious credentials. It’s run by Benjamin Mathis, who claims to have “overseen 170 hours of network television and blockbuster films” as a studio executive.
Mathis has apparently traded red-carpet starlets for fringe-right luminaries: His political client list includes Christine O’Donnell, Tom Tancredo, the Tea Party Express political action committee—and, going international, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.
Kikwete is in a tough election right now, so tough that a member of his administration, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, toured print media offices earlier this month, threatening to shutter any media house that "put the government in a bad light.” More than 50 human rights and media organizations issued a joint statement last week, claiming the government has threatened the press in advance of the forthcoming elections.