Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | James Foley | slain journalist | New Hampshire | Jeanne Shaheen

Slain Journalist's Parents: Ad With Image of Son 'Deplorable'

By    |   Friday, 17 October 2014 09:09 AM

The parents of slain journalist James Foley say it's "deplorable" that a conservative campaign ad uses an image of their son moments before he was beheaded by an Islamic State (ISIS) militant and are demanding the ad be pulled.

The image is appearing in New Hampshire, the Foleys' home state, in ads against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and other Democratic incumbents, reports New England Cable News.

His parents, Diane and James Foley, said the ad is causing them great pain, and his mother remembers her son as a courageous, compassionate man who was "just the best of America."

The Foleys are trying to forget the image of their son in an orange jumpsuit, just before his execution, and say the new ad, posted by the conservative group Secure America Now, is forcing them to relive their son's death.

"I think it is deplorable, and there should be an apology," said Foley's father.

Secure America Now produced the 15-second Internet ad campaign, which attacks Democrats in numerous Senate races nationwide, and Foley's mother said she finds it "very sad that people would use the brutality of our son's death for their own political purposes."

The spots were released as recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows the Islamic State is the top issue for Republican voters in November, reports The Hill. 

The ad says: "While radical Islamists threaten to attack America and millions cross our border undetected, President Obama and Senator Shaheen have done nothing. Call now and tell Senator Shaheen to stop ignoring our border crisis. Tell her to secure our border now."

Identical ads have been placed targeting vulnerable Democratic incumbent Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, reports The Hill.

Secure America Now President Allen Roth told NECN that his group did not contact the Foleys before using the image, but still defended using it.

"The image has appeared around the world millions of times," he told NECN. "We meant no harm; we just took an image that is in public domain, and we used it."

Both Shaheen and her Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, have spoken out against the ad.

"This is a disgraceful ad that dishonors the memory of a respected journalist and New Hampshire native," Shaheen told NECN.  "It hurts all who loved and knew Jim, and the people behind this ad owe the Foley family and apology."

Brown, meanwhile, issued a statement calling the ad "completely inappropriate and disrespectful to the Foley family."

But Roth said his group does not plan to apologize and does not agree the advertisement is controversial.

"I am saying there is an attempt to create a controversy here, and that attempt is purely political," Roth said, a charge the Foleys denied.

"I would just like them to have the sensitivity and compassion to withdraw that image from their campaign," Foley's mother said.

Roth said the execution video and image have been used in other campaigns nationwide. However, he said his group may consider pulling the advertisement from New Hampshire out of respect for the Foleys and their son.

The ad has also led the New Hampshire Democratic Party to demand Brown return $10,000 he got from Secure America Now board member John Bolton. However, Roth told NECN that board members do not create ads, and Bolton had nothing to do with the controversial spot.

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The parents of slain journalist James Foley say it's "deplorable" that a conservative campaign ad uses an image of their son moments before he was beheaded by an Islamic State (ISIS) militant and are demanding the ad be pulled.
James Foley, slain journalist, New Hampshire, Jeanne Shaheen
Friday, 17 October 2014 09:09 AM
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