Subscribe for 99¢
Roy Blunt on Fox News, as it appears in a Robin Carnahan campaign ad
Roy Blunt on Fox News, as it appears in a Robin Carnahan campaign ad

ST. LOUIS -- More than three months after Election Day, Democrat Robin Carnahan's campaign has finally settled a lawsuit with Fox News over an ad attacking her opponent.

The former Senate candidate was sued by the cable network after airing a commercial that consisted almost entirely of a 2006 clip of Fox anchor Chris Wallace quizzing Republican Roy Blunt, who defeated Carnahan in the Nov. 2 election. 

In a federal lawsuit filed in Kansas City on Sept. 15, Fox complained that Carnahan infringed on its copyrights and misappropriated Wallace's likeness.

On Friday, the two sides announced a settlement in the case, along with a mutually agreed upon statement in which the Carnahan campaign concedes the footage from Fox was used in a matter that exceeded what was "permitted."

Permitted by whom is not said in the statement, which may be intentionally ambiguous so that both sides can claim some type of victory.

According to the statement, the Carnahan campaign believed that the commercial "was permissible under the copyright fair use doctrine."

But the campaign now "acknowledges that the amount and kind of footage used in its 'Clean Up The House' advertisement, as well as the manner in which the footage was used in the advertisement, exceeded that which is permitted," the statement says.

Both sides agreed that the ad would not run again and, according to a separate court filing, paid their own attorney fees.

The case had been set for trial later this year. The settlement comes as the Carnahan campaign was seeking advice from the Federal Election Commission about whether a legal defense fund could be formed to help fight Fox.

In a letter to the commission last month, a lawyer for Carnahan said the cost of defending the case had already exceeded $85,000.

Political Fix e-newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.