NPG of California, the owner of KEYT TV, has sent a letter to Republican Congressional candidate Justin Fareed saying content in a recent ad violates the law.
Specifically the ad uses a clip from a newscast as the basis for the message. That material is copyright protected news content. Consent was never granted.
The segment of a news story is read by KEYT anchor and Managing Editor CJ Ward. The station says Ward has not given his authorization for the material, his voice or likeness to be used in this manner.
The topic of the story was the controversial comment made by Democratic candidate Salud Carbajal calling the city of Lompoc the “arm pit” of Santa Barbara County.
At issue is the station’s firm commitment to viewers to be fair in the on going political coverage. General Manager Mark Danielson says the news staff is presenting the facts of each race evenly in order for voters to make their own personal decisions on election day. “The use of KEYT’s news story and its anchor in this political advertisement gives viewers the false impression that KEYT supports Fareed and opposes Carbajal – which is not the case. KEYT takes no position in this political race,” said Danielson in a letter to the Fareed campaign.
The letter goes on to say, “KEYT may take appropriate legal action to protect its rights.”
Carbajal was not available for an on camera interview, but sent KEYT this statement.
“I am proud of the work I have done on behalf of the community of Lompoc, including securing funding for the Veterans Community Center and for critical infrastructure projects in the area. Most recently, I visited the community in the wake of the devastating Canyon Fire to thank our firefighters for their brave work to combat the blaze. I will continue to partner with and advocate for the Lompoc community in Congress. My opponent’s latest ad does a disservice to viewers by including only a small part of KEYT’s reporting without their permission and without context.”
Fareed spoke out about the Lompoc comment more than a week ago when it was reported. At that time he said, “These are people’s lives that we are talking about and this isn’t something to joke about and these off colored remarks are despicable in my opinion.”
Carbajal’s campaign has said, the controversial statement was taken out of context in a conversation between Carbajal and a friend who is a Lompoc resident. They say it was brought to light by an unpleasant critic of Carbajal throughout his career.
Both candidates will have a chance to debate all of the issues on a live debate scheduled for airing on October 16 on KEYT and KCOY.