If you watch broadcast and cable television this week, you may see an ad paid for by the Doheny for Congress campaign titled “The Truth.” In this ad Elise Stefanik, Matt Doheny’s opponent in the Republican primary for the 21st Congressional District seat, is portrayed as an outsider, not from the North Country. The ad references reporting by local media including North Country Public Radio to make that case, and includes a brief audio clip from a candidate profile by our reporter Brian Mann that aired on NCPR last month.
We’re going on record here to tell you that we did not authorize use of North Country Public Radio’s reputation or reporting in this ad. We believe that the use of our name and our audio without our consent is not acceptable, that the material is used out of context, and that the ad violates our journalistic integrity. We have asked the Doheny campaign to take all references to NCPR out of the ad. We are waiting for a reply.
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Update 6/7/14 8:45 pm: An update: the Stefanik campaign has replied to NCPR this evening. Charlotte Guyett, press secretary for the Elise for Congress campaign, has told NCPR that the Stefanik campaign is in no way connected to the ad and has no contact with the group (American Crossroads) that placed the ad, including no control over editorial content. NCPR has not yet received a reply from American Crossroads or from the Doheny campaign, regarding unauthorized use of North Country Public Radio’s name and content in political ads.
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Update 6/7/14 12:15 pm: It has come to our attention that an ad titled “Mistakes” attacking Matt Doheny, paid for by the American Crossroads group on behalf of Elise Stefanik, is also currently running and includes a slide with our name at the bottom of the screen. It’s small and quick and easy to miss, and does not include use of NCPR reporter voices, but we also object to this usage without our permission. We have contacted both the American Crossroads group and Stefanik’s group, Elise for Congress, and requested that they delete all references to North Country Public Radio or pull down the ad.
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North Country Public Radio will never take sides or editorialize. We are, as always, totally committed to fairness and evenhandedness in all of our coverage of issues and candidates. It’s a core value for us, that goes to the heart of our commitment to public service, to you.
We just wanted you to know.
Jackie Sauter, program director
North Country Public Radio