The video: Journalists at Rupert Murdoch's new iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, happened to talk on-camera with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) a few weeks before she was shot in Tuscon, and are featuring that "touching" interview in one of its first videos. (View below.) In a tactic that's being called self-promotional, The Daily's producers combined clips of Giffords extolling her iPad with voice-overs noting that Giffords is still using her iPad to look at pictures as part of her rehab in a Texas hospital.
The reaction: Using Giffords in what amounts to an iPad commercial "comes across as a tasteless reach for publicity," says Joe Coscarelli in The Village Voice. Nothing in The Daily's video is untrue, but it's "insensitive and uncool" to use her to hawk "a product that must succeed in order for the publication to work" — in other words, it's "vintage Murdoch." Billing the video as "touching" suggests that Giffords will discuss her love of public service or a similar theme, says Chris Rovzar in New York. Still, "Giffords is indeed cute about the device," and when she talks about snuggling in bed with her husband and their iPads, it "is actually kind of touching." Watch the video here: