Kentucky ND Tells Senate Candidates to Stop Using News Clips in Campaign Spots

By Kevin Eck 

wave Rep SenateIt’s election time, when candidates pay to run spots either bashing their opponents or making themselves look good.

Here in New York City, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is using clips from WABC and WCBS along with some national news outlets to show he’s tough on crime.

Bill Shory, news director for Louisville, Ky. NBC affiliate WAVE, said the use of his station’s reports in campaign ads have led his viewers to believe WAVE is endorsing one candidate over another.

In an open letter on the station’s website, Shory said he’s had enough and has presented a two step plan to deal with the issue.

Shory said he’s gotten complaints about ads from the Senate candidates Mitch McConnell and Alison Grimes. He said he sent the two letters, (click on their names to read the letters) asking them to stop using clips from WAVE in their campaign ads. He then said WAVE would let the viewers know what’s going on by “presenting ‘all facts, statements, and coverage truthfully and in the proper context.”

“We believe that showing clips from our newscast outside their full context does a disservice to our station, to our journalists, and, most importantly, the voters of the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, Federal election law doesn’t give us a lot of options,” said Shory. “If a commercial comes directly from a candidate’s campaign (the ones that include the line “I approved this message”), it has special protection under the law. We can’t edit it, and we can’t even refuse it. We have to let the campaign buy time to run it on our air.”

While Shory said McConnell’s campaign said they’d look at the letter, he said neither side has responded.

“In the mean time, we won’t tie ourselves in knots trying to avoid landing in the next campaign commercial,” Shory added. “We’ll just continue doing our best to bring you thorough, fair, and objective coverage and this and every campaign.”