Brokaw — who wants the ad withdrawn — says: "I am extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad. I do no want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign."
Extended use? The ad is 30 seconds long. And how does it "compromise" Brokaw's role as a journalist? Anyone can see it's the archival footage of the news from 1997, and the point of using Brokaw is that it makes it plain that this is the straightforward news of that time, not any pumped up, slanted presentation.
... unless — ironically! — Tom Brokaw's role as a journalist is already — in the minds of viewers — compromised. I mean, when you look at this ad, do you think: Oh, there's that terrible left-leaning NBC News making what Gingrich did look as bad as possible? Or do you think: That's the regular, professional news as it appeared in 1997, informing us of some disturbingly bad things Gingrich did?
Obviously, Mitt Romney is using the clip on the theory that you'll think the latter, and therefore it boosts Brokaw's reputation as a neutral journalist. Brokaw's objection is self-undermining.
IN THE COMMENTS: Lem says:
I have the copy of the U.S. Constitution, and it doesn't say anywhere anything that anybody can make Tom extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of his personal image.