Herman Cain’s bizarre bunny-shooting video
Former pizza magnate Herman Cain has been out of the presidential race for months, but don’t tell him that. Cain, who held the lead among Republican candidates before a series of sexual harassment allegations surfaced – admittedly, well before a single vote was cast – continues to seek relevance by pumping out campaign-like material on his web site and various social media outlets.
On Monday, a new Cain Solutions spot under the current umbrella of “Sick of Stimulus” drew the ire of animal lovers and was briefly pulled from the website YouTube.
The 37-second “Sick of Stimulus” spot, entitled “Rabbit,” showed a young girl holding a large, cute, black and white Easter bunny. “This is small business,” says the girl. “This is small business under the current tax code,” she adds, placing the rabbit into what looks like a cozy straw bed but is in fact a catapult. The bunny – now animated, not real – is then hurled into the air, where an actor dressed in a suit blows it to pieces with a shotgun.
On his website, Cain assures that “no actual bunnies were harmed” in the making of the spot. “Animals are still safer appearing in Herman Cain’s web advertisements than they are in PETA’s care,” he boasts.
YouTube pulled the Cain Connections spot and put up a notice saying its community of viewers had flagged the spot as “inappropriate.” That brought a furious response from Cain: “This is free speech. This is free speech under YouTube. I have some questions!” A triumphant Cain later returned to Facebook and Twitter to say that he had come back from his “YouTube time-out.”
The Cain Train, when it was rolling toward the White House, had a history of unconventional advertising. In a famous spot, campaign manager Mark Block ended a testimonial toward Cain by taking a drag on a cigarette and blowing smoke at the camera.
The first Sick of Stimulus ad, released in February, had the same slightly strange little girl tossing a goldfish – said to represent “the economy” – out of a bowl and then dumping dirt on the fish as it gasped for breath on the ground. “This is the economy on stimulus,” she said, and with a final shriek, “ANY QUESTIONS??”
Viewers are being invited to engage with Cain – who in January endorsed Newt Gingrich in the Republican primary race – on “what you are sick of.” Would it be too much to say we are sick of disturbing acts of simulated animal cruelty?