Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan is being sued by Fox News and its host Chris Wallace, who allege that the Democrat used proprietary footage in a campaign commercial to give the appearance that the network endorsed her.
The complaint, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Missouri, claims copyright infringement, invasion of privacy and misappropriation of likeness, according to The Hollywood Reporter
, which first reported the lawsuit. Fox News
and Wallace are seeking an injunction against further use of the television ad and unspecified monetary damages.
The ad used footage of Carnahan's opponent, Republican Roy Blunt, from a June 15, 2006 interview conducted by Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."
In the clip, Wallace says to Blunt: "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?"
Court papers call the spot a "smear ad" against Blunt. The network says that by using the Wallace interview, "Defendant harmed the value of the original work by compromising its apparent objectivity."
The ad has been removed from Carnahan's website. YouTube also pulled the spot after being served a notice by Fox, the Reporter said.
The Carnahan campaign has not commented on the lawsuit.
The use of TV interviews and other similar footage is common in campaign commercials.
Read the full court complaint here.
Watch the ad here.