by Kevin Allman
Watch it. Then read the Times-Pic's Frank Donze explain mayoral candidate James Perry's new campaign ad. Take it away, Mr. Donze:
"Political insiders and career politicians..." an offscreen narrator intones as silhouettes of men and women appear on screen, depicting the announced mayoral contenders. "Lining up to be our next mayor," the speaker continues as the shot switches to an exasperated woman who spits out: "What? Are you shi--ing me?"
On the heels of that exclamation comes an equally flustered man who asks "Are you f---ing kidding me!" as he removes his cap to rub his head. He is followed immediately by another man who shouts "What the f---!''
As the narrator opines "They haven't changed anything," a large group screams in unison, "What the f---!'' as the faces of [candidates John] Georges and [Ed] Murray come into focus.
So we called Perry to say: WTF? The candidate was driving, so he handed the phone to his campaign manager.
"The Times-Picayune missed the mark on its description," said Perry campaign manager Alex Morgan. "Obviously you can't run ads with the word f-u-c-k in them," he added, spelling out the word so as not to offend. "It's an ad that expresses people's frustrations as to the choices they have as mayor, and they [the T-P] have taken a little bit of a leap to fill in the blank. It's a computer graphic image; it's bleeped out and the mouths are pixelated, so they could be saying anything.
"They could be saying 'Jeff!'," Morgan added helpfully.
Uh-huh. And Sean Payton could be saying "cheese and crackers got all muddy!" when the ESPN sideline camera catches him every time Drew Brees gets sacked. So, Alex Morgan: the T-P got it all wrong?
"Oh, no!" Morgan said. "I'm fine with the article. But it's a different ad than the article portrays."
There was a burst of static at the other end of the line, which could've been interference or the sound of Alex Morgan's nose growing about two feet.
Morgan also said that the ad would be running during the next week on WWL, WDSU, WVUE and WGSO in a rollout costing $60,000, which we haven't confirmed. Whether it's a serious ad or a viral campaign video designed to bait press coverage, it's safe to say that James Perry -- a candidate with a fierce online following but weak general voter recognition -- has just made a name for himself in local politics.
One thing's for sure: the name ain't "Jeff."