Fox News Channel has sued Robin Carnahan's Senate campaign, alleging the unauthorized use of a televised interview featuring rival candidate Roy Blunt that appears in a new Carnahan ad.
Carnahan's campaign used footage from a "Fox News Sunday" interview with Blunt and the network's Chris Wallace in early 2006. The footage makes up almost the entire 30-second Carnahan ad, which began running last Friday.
The lawsuit, filed late Wednesday in federal court in Kansas City, contends that the "smear ad" makes it appear that Fox and Wallace are endorsing Carnahan's campaign. The ad uses Wallace's image for monetary gain without his permission, violates copyright law and amounts to an invasion of privacy by "misappropriation of likeness," according to the suit.
"The Carnahan ad is designed to make it appear as if Wallace — a trusted journalist — is instead speaking as a campaign operative," the lawsuit stated.
Wallace is seeking more than $75,000 in damages.
Carnahan's campaign said Thursday that the ad is still being broadcast statewide, although YouTube has removed the ad from its website. That, in turn, resulted in the video coming down on the Carnahan campaign website because the video operation there is linked to YouTube.
"We stand behind our ad," Carnahan campaign spokesman Linden Zakula said in a statement. "It's unclear why Fox News refuses to stand by its own content that simply asked questions about Congressman Blunt's Washington record."
Blunt's campaign said the matter is between Carnahan and Fox. But a campaign spokesman added: "We do hope Robin Carnahan stops the dishonesty and false personal attacks."
The ad features Wallace questioning Blunt, who at the time was running for House majority leader.
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