The Hollywood Reporter: "Fox News and one of its top journalists have filed a lawsuit against the campaign of Missouri senate candidate Robin Carnahan, alleging that the Democrat used proprietary footage in a campaign advertisement to make it appear that the network was endorsing her...The Carnahan campaign wasn't immediately available to offer a response, but we're betting it will try to assert a "fair use" defense. Showcasing media interviews in campaign commercials is common and has been assumed to be appropriately in-bounds."
Fox says the ad is a "smear ad" because it featured content of Chris Wallace being critical of Roy Blunt, and questioning his ability to be a reform in Congress. As summarized by THR:
In the ad, Wallace addresses Blunt and says, "You just said a moment ago that you have to show that you’re the party of reform but some question whether you are the man to do that. In 2002, you tried to insert language into the Homeland Security Act to help Phillip Morris tobacco [company] while you were dating that company’s lobbyist. And your campaign committee’s paid $485,000 to a firm linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.”
Wallace then asks Blunt, "Are you the one to clean up the house?"
Bloomberg reports that Fox is complaining that “The Carnahan ad is designed to make it appear as if Wallace -- a trusted journalist -- is instead speaking as a campaign operative." This is obviously absurd. The power of the ad comes from the fact that Wallace is a journalist, not a campaign operative.
UPDATE: Fox doesn't appear to be alleging that Wallace's words were distorted -- they just don't like that the news clip was used. The language from the complaint.
In a smear ad against political rival Roy Blunt, Defendant Robin Carnahan for Senate, Inc. usurped proprietary footage from the Fox News Network to made it appear – falsely – that FNC and Christopher Wallace, one of the nation’s most respected political journalists, are endorsing Robin Carnahan’s campaign for United States Senate.
In completely unrelated news, Fox's parent company has donated $1,000,000 to the Republican Governors Association this cycle.
Full complaint below the break.
Image credit: TPM