NBC, Obama Campaign Spar Over YouTube Video

Obama campaign's VoteForChange.com posts YouTube video featuring NBC News anchors Brokaw, Olbermann 'pronouncing' McCain election winner.
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At press time, a YouTube campaign spot, "Bad News," featuring NBC News anchors -- Tom Brokaw, Keith Olbermann -- appearing to pronounce Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) the Nov. 4 election-night winner was still up on YouTube.

NBC executives and lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Obama campaign, whose VoteForChange.com posted the video.

NBC also contacted YouTube to ask them to take it down. "You can't just take our people and create fake newscasts with them," an NBC News source said.

According to the source, the video was removed, but it had been reposted by press time. NBC continues to follow up with YouTube. NBC also continues to register its displeasure with the campaign, which only agreed to modify the spot, according to NBC. "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."

She told B&C that was not good enough.

The tag line -- which appears as a pop-up following the video rather than an amendment to the actual spot -- says first that VoteForChange.com is sponsored by Obama for America, then that "NBC and MSNBC did not cooperate in the making of this video." Clicking on that pop-up actually leads to the Obama campaign site and another video, this one of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore flanking a cardboard Obama cut-out, identifying themselves as a "typical American family" and telling viewers to go to Voteforchange.com.

At press time, the video was still up on YouTube and had received 587,290 views.

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