Oliver North, video-game pitchman

One might presume that Oliver North, a former Marine who helped broker the sale of weapons to Iran (as in Iran-Contra), might know something about “black ops.”

Which explains why he’s now a spokesman for Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the military-themed blow-em-up video game. Much like Wilfred Brimley doing oatmeal commercials, or O.J. Simpson touting rental cars, North has a certain amount of... cachet, and certainly some credibility with the product he’s selling.

His debut as video-game hawker was covered in the gaming press earlier this month, but we just caught up with the video. In a short trailer, promoting the new game, North appears, his image intercut with footage of drones, explosions, and troops. The lighting is moody and the background music edgy.

“I don’t think the average American grasps how violent war is about to become,” he intones ominously, in a voice that approximates the gravelly tones of Clint Eastwood’s recent Chrysler ads.

North raises the spectre of American weapons turned against us by hackers, then posits an even more apocalyptic scenario. “I don’t worry about the guy who wants to hijack a plane,” he says. “I worry about the guy who wants to hijack all the planes.”

And North isn’t just a pitchman for the game, he also helped create it. He served as a consultant to the team developing it, contributing ideas for storylines, we hear.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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