Fox News and anchor Chris Wallace have jointly filed a lawsuit against Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan in response to her latest ad, which features a 2006 interview between Wallace and her opponent, Rep. Roy Blunt.
The lawsuit over the ad, which shows Wallace criticizing Blunt for a legislative record that would imply that he isn't the one to "clean up the house," claims copyright infringement, invasion of privacy and misappropriation of likeness, The Hollywood Reporter first reported Thursday.
In the interview, Wallace asks Blunt:
"You just said a moment ago that you have to show that you're the party of reform but some question whether you are the man to do that. In 2002, you tried to insert language into the Homeland Security Act to help Phillip Morris tobacco while you were dating that company's lobbyist. And your campaign committee's paid $485,000 to a firm linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Are you the one to clean up the House?"
"Roy Blunt, the very worst of Washington," an announcer says, concluding the ad.
Fox News's complaint alleges that the "smear ad" makes it appear as if they are endorsing Carnahan's campaign.
"FNC is a news organization and has not endorsed a candidate in the 2010 Missouri senatorial race," the complaint reads. "By including the FNC Interview in an ad endorsing a specific political candidate, Defendant harmed the value of the original work by compromising its apparent objectivity."
Media Matters notes an interesting point of contention, considering the fact that Fox News has agreed to moderate and broadcast a nationally-televised debate between Carnahan and Blunt, both of whom they claim not to have endorsed:
However, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, News Corp's political action committee "News America Holdings Inc-Fox Pol Action Committee" has donated more than $10,000 directly to Roy Blunt's campaign committee -- including $2,500 this election cycle -- yet apparently none to Robin Carnahan's campaign committee.
Watch the video, which has since been removed from both Carnahan's website and YouTube, here.
Read the complaint from Fox News and Wallace: