Romney ‘Nightly News’ Campaign Ad Irks NBC, Brokaw

Tom Brokaw and Mitt Romney (Photos: AP)

NBC News and former anchor Tom Brokaw are objecting to a new Mitt Romney campaign commercial that consists mostly of a 1997 “NBC Nightly News” report about Newt Gingrich.

They want Romney to take the spot off the air because they feel it makes unfair use of “NBC Nightly News” video.

In the 30-second spot, Brokaw is seen anchoring the newscast and reporting on the story of then-Speaker of the House Gingrich being reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee.

The spot is aimed at reviving the ethics charges against Gingrich as he and Romney are going head-to-head in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination in the days before the crucial Florida primary this Tuesday (Jan. 31).

The story is posted on the Hollywood Reporter Web site here, which picked it up from CNN here. The CNN story has a link to the actual spot.

Brokaw issued a statement decrying the ad. “I am extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad,” Brokaw said in a statement, according to THR. “I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign.”

That’s NBC’s position too. The THR story quotes an NBC News attorney saying the company feels the commercial makes it look like NBC News supports the Romney campaign’s opinion of Gingrich.

For its part, the Romney campaign is sticking with the commercial. A Romney campaign official is quoted as saying the Romney campaign believes the Brokaw video does fall under the so-called “fair use exception to U.S. copyright law.”

“We respect [Brokaw] as a newsman who has a lot of credibility, but we believe this falls within fair use standards,” the campaign official said in the story.

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