Politics & Policy

NFL Asks Feingold To Pull Ad

Russ Feingold’s latest TV ad uses real footage of NFL players celebrating in the endzone — a penalty-worthy infraction (in the league) that Feingold claims Republicans are guilty of (metaphorically) for prematurely declaring victory for Ron Johnson. One clip shows receiver Randy Moss, then of the Minnesota Vikings, celebrating after a touchdown against Wisconsin’s beloved Green Bay Packers.

“In pro football, they call this excessive celebration. And they punish it with fines and 15-yard penalties. It’s exactly the kind of behavior that corporate special interests and Ron Johnson are engaging in,” Feingold says in the ad.

Well, the National Football League is saying that Feingold is guilty — in the not-so-metaphorical sense — of using NFL footage without permission. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league did not license the footage and has been in touch with Feingold’s campaign about removing it.

Johnson’s campaign issued the following response to Battle ‘10:

Sen. Feingold’s mask is off.  He created the image of an independent clean campaigner but the reality is he’s raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars from radical liberal groups like MoveOn.org and is using NFL licensed footage without permission in his latest attack ad.  Wisconsinites are tired of out of touch career politicians like Russ Feingold and are ready to send Ron Johnson to Washington to focus on jobs and the economy.

Feingold’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

This is just the latest in the bizarre saga that is Feingold’s rapid descent from self-proclaimed ‘Clean Campaigner’ (more here, here, and here) to the epitome of political desperation.

**Update** Feingold’s campaign manager John Kraus told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the campaign  is changing the ad. “We are making an edit to the ad to accommodate the NFL’s concerns,” Kraus said.

Andrew StilesAndrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review Online. He previously worked at the Washington Free Beacon, and was an intern at The Hill newspaper. Stiles is a 2009 ...

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