Herman Cain is out with a new web video claiming Americans have suffered economically under President Obama’s stimulus program.
But the real victim appears to be the video’s star, a goldfish that’s shown gasping for breath after its bowl is dumped out onto the ground and it’s raked over with gravel.
Advocates for fair treatment of animals in entertainment tell TPM the video looks inhumane to them. Team Cain says the fish is alive and well and back and home.
Here’s the video:
The clip — and the clearly suffering goldfish contained — prompted speculation on Twitter about the safety of the creature.
“As the first line of the video description says ‘The goldfish is fine…’” said Brad Marston, a consultant who works with Cain Connections. “It is actually swimming happily in the pond at the home of the videographer Chris Burgard.”
Asked if the fish suffered at all in the creation of the video, Marston responded via email, “If it was harmed it didn’t complain. :-)”
The ad was made just for the web — and that’s just as well because regardless of the fish’s current state, the ad’s star will likely keep it off TV forever, says the American Humane Association — best known for those “No animal was harmed in the making of” tags in the credits of movies and TV shows. Networks won’t air ads that feature animals without the sign-off from an accredited group like American Humane, and Cain’s ad certainly does not have it.
“I have no idea how it was done,” said Jone Bouman of the organizations Film & TV unit. “But my initial response would be it looks not humane.”