Fareed and KEYT trade legal threats over political ad

September 29, 2016
Justin Fareed

Justin Fareed


A dispute over a political ad has resulted in Santa Barbara broadcaster KEYT and Republican District 24 congressional candidate Justin Fareed threatening legal action against one another.

KEYT claims Fareed is illegally making use of copyrighted material and is compromising the station’s political neutrality. Fareed argues the broadcaster does not understand copyright rules, and it is attempting to illegally silence political speech.

Recently, Fareed’s opponent, Democratic congressional candidate Salud Carbajal, was overheard referring to Lompoc as the armpit of Santa Barbara County. The comment sparked protests, and Carbajal’s campaign staff issued an apology.

Seizing on the issue, Fareed’s campaign launched a television ad criticizing Carbajal for the remark about Lompoc. The ad contains an approximately nine-second clip of KEYT anchor C.J. Ward reporting on the controversy.

“Congressional candidate Salud Carbajal is in hot water tonight for comments he made about the city of Lompoc. He called it the armpit of Santa Barbara County,” Ward says in the clip.

Salud Carbajal

Salud Carbajal

On Wednesday, KEYT General Manager Mark Danielson responded to the ad by sending a cease and desist letter to the Fareed campaign.

“The use of KEYT’s news story and its anchor in this political advertisement gives viewers the false impression that KEYT supports Fareed and opposes Carbajal — which is not the case. KEYT takes no position in this political race,” Danielson states.

After sending the letter, KEYT devoted a section of a news broadcast to explaining its response to Fareed. KEYT says the Fareed campaign did not request to use its news content, and the station did not authorize the use of the footage in the political ad.

However, political campaigns regularly make use of television news footage in political ads, and Fareed’s campaign say it is well within its right to do so. On behalf of Fareed, attorney Charles Bell wrote a letter to Danielson on Thursday, refuting the general manager’s claims.

“The use of a brief segment of your news report, which does not use KEYT’s trademark or logo, constitutes a “fair use” of copyrighted material for political purposes expressly permitted by copyright law and case law,” Bell wrote. “The segment in no way states or implies that KEYT has endorsed any candidate in the 24th congressional district race, and thus these claims are simply not correct.”

Bell’s letter states federal law prohibits a broadcast station from censoring federal candidates’ political advertisements. The attorney accuses KEYT of trying to silence the Carbajal Lompoc controversy, which he likened to former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” remark in 2012 and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” remark this past month.

The letter goes on to demand retractions and corrections from KEYT.  Bell is demanding that KEYT retract and correct part of the station’s report claiming Fareed’s advertisement is illegal.

Also, Bell argues the KEYT report implied Fareed was the person who overheard Carbajal’s comment about Lompoc. The attorney is demanding that inaccuracy also be retracted and corrected.

In a statement published by KEYT, the Carbajal campaign said Fareed’s ad was a disservice to viewers because it used the broadcaster’s reporting without permission and took the report out of context.

KEYT General Manager Mark Danielson said the station would not retract the contested statements  on-the-air or online.

Fareed and Carbajal have been garnering nationwide attention because of the heated nature of their race, as well as the large sums on money pouring into both of their campaigns.


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Committees can decide whatever ugly ads they want

Fareed is still a baby who has never worked!

While my family has gone unemployed and we’ve had to made adjustments from lack of raises when did we have work, Carbajal voted for his own pay increase. I can’t vote for someone who gives himself a raise while my family has to cut corners and suffer from longterm unemployment. Justin Fareed seems young, but he was willing to pick himself up and run again after losing before. I like that. It’s how our family has had to pick ourselves up after going long breaks without work. I’ll vote for Justin Fareed.

Great, two rich folks running for officer, especially one piggy backing on his dad’s company and inherited wealth.

Why would Carbajal disrespect the very voters he hopes will help elect him?

Two more bad choices

I’m sick of Limo Lib candidates, in this case the newest wannabe, who openly flaunt their Elitist views of Regular folks. All that Hollywood money in the area has ruined this place. Failed policies like climate laws that have driven business out of California while failing to reduce ghg emissions. When is KEYT going to cover Carbajal’s liabilities so voters get an accurate picture of his failed character? I trust Justin Fareed. I don’t trust Carbajal.

Fact: KEYT reported Carbajal had to apologize for calling a community he’s running to represent as a Candidate for United State Congress an “armpit.”

Fact: Fareed’s ad shows KEYT footage reporting Carbajal had to apologize to Lompoc residents for insulting them as he runs to represent them in the United States Congress.

What wasn’t reported: Carbajal didn’t really apologize to Lompoc Residents. He said it was a comment made in ‘jest.’ So they’re a joke that he has to put up with as he runs as a candidate for the United States Congress. Carbajal is not qualified to represent our community in DC!

Carbajal had an opportunity to drive himself to Lompoc to make things right in person. He did not do that. Instead, he used his staff to release a statement. That shows how cavalier he is with his employers. Fareed, on the other hand should use this opportunity to haul butt to Lompoc and capitalize on that…

I cannot stand career politicians. The have inflated views of self worth…