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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My armpits are insulted!

“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.” Fareed is coming off as the holier-than-thou bully. All he had to do was ignore KEYT, and get on with it. But no, had to pound on his chest and make silly legal threats. Seems to demonstrate pretty bad judgment. Hmn. Will fit right in in DC.

You clearly don’t get what a holier than thou bully is. Standing up for our Rights, demanding due process, things like that – it’s how we retain freedoms. Some of us value freedom.

Baby faced Mama’s boy crying….

Um… Surferdude. Carbajal is crying to KEYT. And the station, now that they are perceived as the originator of the story, is worried that their liberal advertising base is pissed.

But seriously folks. Does anyone get real news from KEYT?

Dude, you got too much water in your ears. KEYT is a TV station. Not a person.

No, calling out Carbajal’s crap talk is fair game.

We’ll talk later……………..

Talk SH!T apparently…

Don’t have a dog in this fight but man, the level of outrage on thiis website and elsewhere over a mild derogatory comment is laughable. I live in Moron Bay and used to work in Whitetrashcadero and I’ve never found myself weeping endlessly when someone speaks disparagingly about either place. All the crying and vitriol seen here makes the Whiny Liberal look like the freaking Marlboro Man in comparison. Don’t vote for the guy, shake it off, move on.

Right you are. I have lived in Dismal Beach, Grubby Beach and now in Arroyo Grungy. While Carbajal should not have said what he did — even as a joking comment to someone who understood that — it is indeed making a mountain out of a mole hill. I tend to discount the judgment of people who nitpick or exaggerate stuff in their efforts to score political points during a campaign. Unfortunately, this happens so often that it is rare to find a candidate I actually respect — especially above the local level.

Never mind that Carbajal’s gaffe goes right to the heart of limousine liberal politics in SB? Character matters.

As does resilience.

yay, glad to see someone who gets what a Limo Lib is contributes… once voters learn what a Limo Lib is, they tend to vote for the other guy!

It’s one thing for someone to diss a place. It’s another for a Candidate vying for the job of representing that community in the United States Congress to diss the place. Would you get the job if mid-interview you dissed the company in front of the hiring manager?

The station is in the right. Fareed cynically uses KEYT News in an effort to mislead the public into thinking it supports his campaign. Fareed is simply an Eric Trumpesque punk.

When this all happened, Carbajal staff relayed his apology as he begged for Clinton Ca$h at a DC fundraiser. That day, Fareed capped off a full week meeting 1:1 with voters, small business and the community at large in Templeton. Fareed is a local guy who’s raised a third of the money Carbajal has from out of district sources, while Carbajal is the Supervisor who voted for policies that created the greatest income gap in SLO history. I’m voting Justin Fareed since his actions demonstrate his sense of community. Pride in our community means Fareed will FIGHT for US once we send him to DC.

Wouldn’t want anybody to think the local media endorses a Republican now would we?. Between the constant pro Dem commercials on KSBY or KEYT & KHTZ radio, its pretty obvious who they like buttering their bread.

KEYT ia a prostitute of the democrat party.

This clearly falls within the Fair use guidelines…so they are just pissed off that they actually told the truth about a Democrat and that in and of itself is damaging to the Station’s standing in the left wing community.