You know its a bad day social media-wise when your social media strategy is to cover up a YouTube video you yourself posted for the whole world to see. But that’s exactly what the Polk County Republican Party in Wisconsin has been caught doing. Will politicians ever learn?
When freshman GOP Rep. Sean Duffy held a town hall meeting for constituents in Amery, Wisconsin last week, local Republican leaders quickly released the video on the Party’s website and on YouTube to share the congressman’s message.
That message became a little off-message, but a YouTube hit, when the Congressman answered a constituent’s question by saying he was struggling to get by on his $174,000 Congressional salary.
“If you think I’m living high off the hog, I’ve got one paycheck. So I struggle to meet my bills right now,” Duffy said on camera.
Political websites, blogs and Democrats quickly jumped on Duffy’s comment since the Congressman also advocated for making all public employees in his home state take a pay cut under Governor Scott Walker’s (R-WI) Budget Repair Bill.
Under that heat, the Polk County GOP quickly yanked the video of the townhall meeting from its website. Now the Party is trying to remove the video from the Internet completely.
(Note to the Wisconsin GOP: Ask Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen or [fill in the blank actor/celebrity/singer/politician/reality star ruined by a viral video] how that is working for them.)
Polk County Republicans have issued a cease-and-desist order to media organizations demanding they take down the video that captures Rep. Duffy’s off-script snafu, according to a report from Talking Points Memo.
The Party reportedly tried to pull the video from YouTube, but not before it was captured by other websites. They are now seeking legal action to stop other sites from republishing the video.
TPM claims officials from the Polk County GOP contacted Blip.tv, which TPM used to host the video, to accuse the site of copyright infringement. An official said the Polk County GOP pulled the video from their own site because it was being republished without their consent.
While some media outlets have agreed to the GOP’s demands, Talking Points Memo has decided to keep the video up on their web page.
“For a couple hours, the local county GOP was successful. But we’ve put an excerpt of the video back up,” the site explains.
Hopefully not lost on anyone is the fact that Duffy himself should be no stranger to the dangers of cameras and, well, “living in a house and having your life taped.” He, after all, rose to fame in the early 1990s as a cast member of MTV’s pioneering reality show, The Real World.