In a story that actually sounds like it has all the makings of a classic Monty Python skit, New Jersey gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Attorney for the state Chris Christie has opened himself up to potential litigation from the the legendary British comedy troupe even as voters go to the polls. Christie's campaign created an ad titled "Deja Vu" that appropriated a segment from the television series "Monty Python's Flying Circus," apparently without permission.
The ad lifts footage of a young Michael Palin from the show playing a TV show host explaining what deja vu is, and then explaining what deja vu is and then explaining it again as titles making a fairly typical attack on Corzine ("haven't we seen this before?" they ask) scroll across the screen. The Pythons were nonplussed. The Christie campaign hastily removed the ad from its YouTube channel shortly after The Huffington Post alerted Pythons Palin and Terry Jones to the ad's existence, though the video can be seen here.
The HuffPo lays it on pretty thick, writing, "Christie is no stranger to the world of crime," bringing up a New York Times story that cited Christie's family connection to an incarcerated member of the Genovese crime family. The members of Monty Python were considerably more glib.
"I'm surprised that a former U.S. Attorney isn't aware of his copyright infringement when he uses our material without permission," Palin told the HuffPo. "He's clearly made a terrible mistake. It was the endorsement of Sarah Palin he was after -- not that of Michael Palin."
Jones, who confirmed that the group was considering legal action was even more biting in his criticism, playing off the fact that Christie, a lawyer for 22 years, had been appointed as U.S. Attorney by George Bush on Karl Rove's recommendation: "It is totally outrageous that a former U.S. Attorney knows so little about the law that he thinks he can rip off people. On the other hand -- another of Bush's legal appointees was Alberto Gonzales and he didn't seem to know much about the law either."