The parents of a journalist beheaded by ISIS are calling for a conservative group to stop using his image, taken prior to being executed, in their ads supporting GOP candidates.
Diane and John Foley, parents of freelance journalist James Foley who was beheaded by ISIS in mid-August, have asked that ad be pulled from their home state of New Hampshire, where they brought up their son, according to NECN.
The ad, being run by Secure America Now — a conservative group with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and former UN Ambassador John Bolton on its advisory board — shows Foley in an orange jumpsuit prior to his execution. Continually seeing the ad has forced Foley’s parents to relive their son’s death, with John Foley calling the ad “deplorable.”
“He was just the best of America,” Diane Foley said of her son, with her husband adding, “I think it is deplorable, and there should be an apology.”
According to the Foleys, they were never contacted by Secure America Now prior to the ad running.
Allen Roth, president of Secure America Now, admits the group did not contact the Foley family before making the ad public.
“The image has appeared around the world millions of times. We meant no harm; we just took an image that is in public domain, and we used it,” Roth said in an interview.
Secure America is running the ad, critical of Democrats, in New Hampshire in support of Republican nominee Scott Brown, who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
Shaheen has called the ad disgraceful, while Brown has called it disrespectful.
Roth maintains there is nothing wrong with the ad and won’t apologize. He says people are trying to create controversy where there is none.
“I am saying there is an attempt to create a controversy here, and that attempt is purely political,” he explained.
Diane Foley disagreed, saying, “It makes me very sad that people would use the brutality of our son’s death for their own political purposes.”