Leaders of candidate Justin Fareed’s congressional campaign have replied to a letter from NewsChannel 3 management over concerns of using a news clip in a new campaign ad, asserting use of the content was legal, and calling for a retraction and correction of statements made by the station.
On Wednesday, a new Fareed campaign ad began airing showing a clip of Anchor / Managing Editor CJ Ward introducing a news report on a statement made by Fareed’s opponent Salud Carbajal, calling Lompoc the ‘armpit’ of Santa Barbara County. Wednesday evening newscasts reported on a letter sent to the campaign asserting the station’s legal copyright protection over the news clip that was used, and expressing concerns of the appearance of NewsChannel 3 bias in the Congressional Race.
In a written reply received by the station Thursday, an attorney for the Fareed campaign demanded the station retract and correct statements that use of the news clip in the political ad was “illegal.” The attorney stated the use of NewsChannel 3’s report is legally permitted under a concept known as “Fair Use.” The station also operates under federal laws that prohibit any alterations to campaign commercials before airing.
The campaign attorney’s reply also suggested station bias toward Carbajal in Wednesday’s story by inferring the person who overheard the armpit comment was Fareed, who was not present at the meeting where it happened. The station reported the comment was overheard by a political opponent of Carbajal.
KEYT-KKFX General Manager Mark Danielson said the station would not retract statements made in its letter to the campaign, or in the story reported on-air and online.
Fareed’s campaign manager also released a statement regarding the original story which led to the dispute over the ad.
“We commend KEYT on their coverage of Salud Carbajal referring to Lompoc as the armpit of the county. It is shameful when candidates for office stoop this low and the citizens of Lompoc are still waiting for a personal apology from Carbajal. Our campaign is well within its legal right to use footage of a news broadcast outlining Carbajal’s offensive comments, where he refers to Lompoc as the armpit of the county,” said campaign manager Christiana Purves. “We look forward to a spirited debate on October 16th on KEYT television and perhaps Carbajal will use this forum as an opportunity to personally apologize to the citizens of Lompoc for referring to their city as the armpit of the county.”
NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 will jointly air a live debate between Fareed and Carbajal on Sunday October 16 at 6:00 p.m.