‘Oklahoman,’ Candidate Settle Suit Over Ads

By: Mark Fitzgerald

The Oklahoman dropped its lawsuit against U.S. Senate hopeful Bob Anthony after the Republican candidate agreed to stop running campaign ads that showed the nameplate of the Oklahoma City daily.

Under the agreement, Anthony will stop broadcasting the ads by Tuesday. The ads will also be removed from his Web site. As E&P reported last week, the Oklahoman filed the lawsuit after Anthony refused to drop or alter an attack ad against a primary opponent that used the newspaper’s articles and prominently displayed nameplate to support allegations of “shady deals” by the candidate. The newspaper objected to the use of its copyrighted nameplate, and the way it was used to make articles that appeared on inside pages look as if they had originally run on the front page.

In campaign statements and a press conference last Wednesday, Anthony maintained he would not pull the ads as a matter of First Amendment principles. But an Oklahoman story by reporter Ryan McNeill revealed that just before the press conference his attorneys “made an unsolicited settlement offer … (to) stop running the ads.” The Oklahoman had already accepted the offer in principle before the press conference, McNeill reported.

Oklahoman Editor Ed Kelley had previously said the paper objected to campaign ads that used its copyrighted nameplate, but not articles and headlines. The agreement allows Anthony to use Oklahoman articles and headlines in future ads.

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