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The Minnesota Green Screen Debate

The campaigns of Sen. Norm Coleman (R) and Al Franken (D) have launched an ad war that has morphed into an unusual argument about production techniques used in ads.

The battle started last week when Coleman started airing "Got It," an ad that features the senator and his wife, Laurie, in their kitchen. But some liberal Minnesota blogs suggested Mrs. Coleman did not appear in person, but instead was "green screened" into the ad using chroma key technology.

"The Senator and his wife were both in the kitchen of their home where the commercial was filmed," according to Coleman Communications Director Erin Rath. In the video below, the Coleman campaign playfully suggests that Franken, who has spent most of his professional career in states other than his native Minnesota, is the candidate "green-screened" into his ads:

UPDATE 2 p.m. ET: The Coleman campaign has passed on links to outtakes from the kitchen ads that prove it was not a "green screen" production.

-- Ed O'Keefe

By Ed O'Keefe |  June 23, 2008; 10:05 AM ET Congress
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Most Minnesotans agree on the ad. Even if Sen. Coleman's wife IS in the same room with him, the awkward shoot angles make it seem like she might not be. And given the fact that she lives in Los Angeles, and stops through the state her husband represents just as needed to shoot political commercials, the overall vibe the ad produces does little to change public perception about their union.

Posted by: Leroy Jenkins | June 23, 2008 12:20 PM

I bet the people that have contributed to the Coleman campaign are surprised to see how their money has been used. What a waste of money "attempting" to make fun of Al Franken. I'm not surprised they don't want to discuss the real issues facing our country today.

Posted by: David Simpson | June 23, 2008 12:57 PM

Challenged by bloggers, the Coleman Campaign refuses to provide proof Mrs. Coleman wasn't GreenScreened. Instead, they've issued denials of the allgegation. Additionally, they prepared and published on their campaign website a cheap video taking a cheap shot at Franken.

If Mrs. Coleman was indeed in the kitchen and wasn't GreenScreened, providing outtake video would end the discussion. The fact they haven't speaks volumes.

Posted by: Tommy Johnson | June 23, 2008 1:28 PM

Posted by: Hi | June 23, 2008 1:34 PM

FWIW, Mr. Rath clearly admits it by saying "where" and not "when" in his non-denial-denial.

Besides, in the "proof outakes" someone added a second glass of OJ (only in the first, static, frame) to imply 2 people there. It's gone in all other shots.

It's always the cover-up.

Posted by: FWIW | June 23, 2008 5:51 PM

This only shows that Coleman and his wife have so little "chemistry" together, that they can't even manage to make standing the same room together look convincing. Hilarious.

Posted by: Art Carnage | June 24, 2008 2:53 AM

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