Political Correction

Rick Scott: The Borat Of Health Care?

July 20, 2009 9:57 am ET - by Melinda Warner

In the last few years, Americans have become familiar with the cast of characters invented by Sacha Baron Cohen.  His antics as Borat and Bruno have caused a worldwide stir, resulting in embarrassment at best and lawsuits at worst among those people filmed interacting with the actor.

The man filmed giving Borat driving lessons and the drunk frat guys who destroyed Borat's dream of marrying Pam Anderson have filed lawsuits alleging they were misled in how they were told the footage would be used.  And now an alleged terrorist has threatened to sue Cohen for his appearance in the new Bruno flick.  However, in each case the plaintiff(s) signed a release allowing their scenes to be used by Cohen's production team.

In a strangely similar twist, the British stars of Conservatives for Patients Rights ads have come forward saying they were "interviewed by a professional video team for the anti-reform group Conservatives for Patients' Rights, accompanied by its founder, Rick Scott," and "signed a waiver allowing the video to be used as CPR saw fit," but they were not told their interviews would be made into nationally broadcast ads in the United States.

One woman, who recounted the story of how her mother died because of delayed treatment, said:

"I had no idea that my comments would be used as a political tool when I was filmed," [Kate Spall] told The Sunday Telegraph. "They asked me to talk about my experiences for their website.

"I stand by my words, but I'm not happy with the context they are being used in and I don't want to be embroiled in the health care debate in the US as I don't know the issues there. My story is my story and my experience is my experience."

Dr. Karol Sikora said:

"I thought the video would be used for their lobbying. We certainly weren't told that they were going to make it into adverts."

Unless part of Rick Scott's plan to fight against health care reform includes wearing a scandalous mankini, chasing down strangers for hugs, or making a statement on the runway, he really should be honest with the people he is interviewing.  Because if he is hiding something as basic as how video footage will be used, how are we supposed to trust him with anything else?

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