Sunday, August 18th, 2019

WKOW unhappy with Feingold ad


WKOW-TV is unhappy with Senator Russ Feingold’s campaign for making an ad look like a WKOW-TV news report. They are asking the Feingold campaign to pull the television ad.

It resembles a WKOW newscast more than a political commercial, right down to the graphics and the anchorman.

“They took out all the context, balance and other side of the story,” said Perry Boxx, WKOW News Director. “He did it without any permission. It may be legal, but it’s just plain wrong.”

Not only did WKOW not give permission for the use of those clips from our copyrighted newscast, we never even knew they had been used until the political ad first hit the air on Monday.

“The fair use doctrine of copyright law allows anyone to use excerpts from copyrighted work for purposes of comment,” said Bob Dreps, WKOW legal counsel.

“The question becomes not is it legal, but is it fair, is it just?” said Madison College Professor Maurice Sheppard.

Campaign ads using new clips aren’t new, but they can blur the line between a news report and a campaign ad, making it seem like journalists are endorsing candidates.

Sheppard said, “For some voters, they don’t know if it’s an ad or a special news report and it can be somewhat confusing.”

Unlike some political ads that feature news clips, the 30 second spot that used WKOW material only revealed its true identity in the closing seconds.

WKOW has requested the Russ Feingold for Senate campaign pull the ad from airing in Wisconsin.

I’m sure it was the mavericky thing to do.

Update! Oh that wascally maverick! Feingold decided he would rather be deceptive than good, and he’s refusing to pull the ad.

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