Democrat candidate hits back against Fox News lawsuit

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Democrat candidate hits back against Fox News lawsuit

Thu Sep 16, 2010 @ 03:11PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Rc_photo Missouri senate candidate Robin Carnahan has no plans to take the campaign ad off the air that prompted an aggressive lawsuit by Fox News.

“We stand behind our ad," Carnahan campaign spokesperson Linda Zakula tells us, "and will continue to tell the truth about Congressman Roy Blunt’s attempt to slip a secret provision into the Homeland Security Act to benefit tobacco giant Philip Morris, while he was dating the company’s lobbyist."

Zakula isn't done ripping Fox News. She has this to say about the lawsuit:

"It’s unclear why Fox News refuses to stand by its own content that simply asked questions about Congressman Blunt’s Washington record and ties to convicted felon lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Congressman Blunt’s 14 year record of wasteful spending, corruption and sticking it to the middle class represents the very worst of Washington: he does not deserve a promotion to the Senate.”

If Fox News' intention was to help the Republican side in the crucial Missouri senate race, one has to wonder whether the cable news network actually did Carnahan a favor by drawing attention to the issue espoused in the ad.

From what we've been able to gather, this is the first time that a cable news network has sued a political campaign. (We're sure our pal Ben Sheffner at Copyrights & Campaigns will check on that.) But nobody should overlook the fact that the lawsuit also breaks ground in that a journalist (Chris Wallace) has asserted a rights of publicity claim over an advertisement.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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