McMaster stars in video on online predators - what's the big deal?

According to The State, Attorney Generalissimo Henry “Ferris Bueller” McMaster has garnered some free publicity for himself and provided a small peek inside his office’s efforts to snag online predators via an online video on Hitachi’s website.

The video focuses on his office’s online task force, discussing their work, and how they use Hitachi computing products in their work. The aim of the company’s program is to show some unconventional uses of their products, no doubt to convince potential buyers to give them a try.

In return, Henry and his staff get some free publicity. In the worlds of PR and political communication, “earned media” is never a bad thing. I call it a fair trade.

The story also raised questions that there may be an unfair advantage in that Henry received free advertising, which to me seemed to be fishing for a deeper story. They even put up an online poll asking readers if they felt that it was appropriate for Henry to appear in the video (I said yes).

Having just been re-elected unopposed, and with no discussion of any next political move, I don’t see the point of throwing that issue on the table. If he was gearing up for a Senate bid in two years, there might be something to discuss here.

But he’s not, so that dog ain't hunting.

If anything, since his election four years ago, we’ve probably seen the least overtly political behavior from Henry since before he first got into politics in the mid-1980.

Congrats to Henry on getting free publicity for its efforts to get on the cutting edge in the war on crime, and shame on Ben Werner at The State for trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

If you'd like to know more about Henry's video, click here, and you can click here to see The State's copy of the video.
As some of ya'll alredy know, my father has been doing this same kind of work in the Lowcountry for years ...

9 Response to "McMaster stars in video on online predators - what's the big deal?"

  1. west_rhino 13/12/06 09:09
    Alas, with only one statewide Dem victory to fawn over, the Frabduous Bandysnatch is grabbing at straws for anything to suggest impropriety among Republicans...

    I'll grant they'd love to hang the implied ethics issues that (in the late 1970s) saw a Dean of Math and Science at USC forced to resign, selection of an AMDEAD, er Amdahl mainframe that wihtout significant upgrades, though a lower bid, didn't perform as well as the original IBM 360 (that eventually was finachettoed to Clemson, without bidding process). Said Dean, in part with travel expenses defrayed by IBM, extolled the virtues of the IBM 360 at several conferences...

    Maybe Branton's decline is just too far away from the ivory tower to be of significance to l'Etat.
  2. Anonymous 13/12/06 09:32
    Is Henry getting free publicity yes.
    The ethics commission could consider it an in-kind contribution. The ethic rules are very tough on this issue. Anytime an elected official appears in a commercial etc it is considered an in-kind contribution to that elected official.

    Remember you can not accept contributions in excess of $3,500 and this multi-million dollar ad campaign is in excess of it. I am sure the democrats will be filing an ethics complaint.
  3. Anonymous 13/12/06 09:40
    i'm sure they will file a complaint, but would that surprise anyone?
  4. Anonymous 13/12/06 09:41
  5. Moye 13/12/06 18:45
    If I remember correctly this has been out for awhile and if so why now the problem.
  6. Anonymous 14/12/06 16:36
    Relax. AG McMaster knows the law. That's why nobody ran against him.

    Folks griping about campaign and ethics probably have not watched the video.

    Kudos to SLED and McMaster for really going after these sicko child molesters.
  7. Anonymous 15/12/06 01:45
    I see this differently than The State and others do. While I do not really have a problem with McMaster and SLED endorsing a product that works for them, my question is did the state of South Carolina get anything for the endorsement? I not really concerned about a check, but are our folks getting the latest updates and full customer support because of our willingness to endorse Hitachi's product? That to me is a far more important question then if Mr. McMaster somehow benefits. Mr. McMaster benefits far less, to me, than the computer company.

    Also, I will add this. If doing this ad helps our folks go after child predators, I am all for it. I am libertarian at heart, and I think adults ought to be free to watch and chat with other adults as they will. But, when children are involved, that is sick, and the state must step in.

    McMaster has done so in an effective manner it appears, and it appears this computer company has been a big help.
  8. west_rhino 15/12/06 08:54
    Anon 4, some similar deals have presented groups opportunities to help develop techonolgies that are user friendly to their applications and needs. Clinical trials, in particular, in our medical schools and hospitals are one area where a payback is having cutting edge technology, eg the GammaKnife at Richland Memorial Hospital or the planned Tomotherapy facilites at MUSC, that can serve the citizens of the state in advance of its roll out to the rest of the world.

    We draw benefits from this process, though often it is in the intangables that don't have a dollar sign on them for the bean counters.
  9. Anonymous 16/12/06 02:04
    The real question is does the Attorney General have any images of Karen Floyd in black leather?

    If he does, we taxpayers demand to see it and see it now!

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