NBC Upset Obama Didn’t Ask Before Mashing Up Ad

NBC and MSNBC are none too happy with an Obama campaign spot which imagines a future, as announced by the networks’ anchors, where John McCain has won the November election. The ad mashes up and manipulates actual footage of Tom Brokaw and Keith Olbermann to make it look as though McCain has won, then calls on watchers to register to vote and stop that from coming a reality.

According to a report in Broadcasting & Cable which details the chain of events, NBC sent a cease-and-desist letter to the campaign as well as a takedown notice to YouTube, after which the ad was taken down but then reposted with a YouTube annotation overlaid that says “NBC and MSNBC did not cooperate in the making of this video.” And just after 10:45 a.m. PST this morning, the ad was taken down and replaced with a notice about a copyright claim by NBC.

Before the ad was pulled down, NBC told B&C it isn’t satisfied with the Obama campaign’s response.

“We have received some pushback from [the campaign]. We have engaged the Obama campaign on the legal front and demanded that they stop using the ad,” NBC spokeswoman Allison Gollust said. “To date, they have not complied. Their response was to put a tag line at the end of the ad.”

As of about 10:45 a.m., right before we were about to post this story, the video had nearly 600,000 views after being embedded on The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and elsewhere. We asked the Obama campaign for comment and will update when we hear back.

It has become regular practice to place spots on the web, where they generate attention for free, with little or no intent to pay to show them on TV. Both campaigns are pushing the limits with these edgier, off-the-cuff ads. McCain’s campaign has previously gotten in trouble with Warner Music Group for unauthorized use of the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” in an anti-Obama ad, with CBS for using a snippet of a quote by Katie Couric about sexism, and with Fox News for using one of its correspondent’s voices in a clip about the financial crisis. The campaign disputed Fox’s claim but the ad is no longer on its YouTube account. The previous offending clips can be seen in ripped versions here, here, and here, respectively.

Weekend Vid Picks: McCain and Obama’s Back and Forth

It’s honestly a little scary to imagine what online video is going to be like in, say, October, given that it’s the first day of August, and the election is pretty much one of the only topics of discussion on the table. They haven’t even picked vice presidents yet, people! Can’t we simmer down just a little?

This week at least, the answer is no. Congressman McCain got mean on Wednesday with Celeb, an ad which compares Senator Obama’s celebrity status to that of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Low blow, sir, and not terribly accurate. If only because Obama has never forgotten to wear underwear at a Vegas nightclub.

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Karina’s Capsule: Harriet Christian

Hooray, it’s the Weekend of Women! As of this writing on Sunday afternoon, it looks like the Sex and the City movie is going to make at least $55 million in its opening weekend, thus establishing a new record for the best debut of a R-rated comedy in history. Bloggers and studio execs alike have already started declaring that girl power has fundamentally changed Hollywood in a single weekend. Yay!

It’s a good thing feminists who are willing to put on blinders have *some* kind of symbolic victory for all of womankind to hold on to, because the results of an arguably more important contest this weekend went very badly for both the woman involved and, by extension, the image of women in power as a whole. Whilst millions of my fellow American women were waiting on line for their dose of the latest adventures of Carrie and company, I was glued to the TV, watching gavel-to-gavel coverage of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting, held to determine whether or not all delegates from both Florida and Michigan will be allowed to vote at the Democratic Convention.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t present at the meeting, but she nonetheless haunted the proceedings (she’s the one who would have gained most from a full seating of these delegates, which the committee ultimately denied), and her supporters were out in full force, shouting, cheering, booing, and getting themselves ejected from the hall. Far more fascinating than the all-day debate are the YouTube clips of angry Clinton supporters exiting the RBC meeting — and reactions to those clips.

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