The Roanoke Times today editorializes on a story that, as far as I can tell, they have not even covered in the "news" sections of the paper.
In preparation for Sunday's scheduled debate, Tim Kaine is refusing to sign a standard non-use agreement required by Dr. Sabato's Center for Politics and Richmond Station NBC 12. What this agreement states is that neither campaign may use audio or video clips from the debate in campaign ads. A very sensible and traditional agreement. After all, as Doug Wilder said in 1989 prior to his debate with Marshal Coleman;
“Why should I be used as a subject of his commercials? I don’t want him in mine. Why should I say, ‘take me, use me.’ Even Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder can see through his scheme.”Tim Kaine has already made this agreement himself in prior debates. I would imagine it has become so commonplace, that it would be noteworthy if such an agreement had not been in place in any recent gubernatorial debate.
(From The Washington Post, July 24, 1989)
There is extremely in depth coverage of the story at Commonwealth Conservative.
The slant of the editorial is that Kilgore is refusing to participate unless there is a signed non-use clause in the rules of the debate. In actuality, Tim Kaine is refusing to sign an agreement he has signed many times before. What exactly does Mr. Kaine have planned?
The Roanoke Times also assumes that its readers are so gullible as to believe there is some restriction on news organization using any audio, video, or transcript clippings. This is absurd, but read their statement;
"WWBT says it is just protecting its copyright interests -- but copyright allows "fair use," not "no use." And short excerpts used in campaign commercials would almost certainly be allowed under current law.The Washington Post had this in yesterday's edition;
Besides, a public debate between gubernatorial candidates going out over airwaves owned by the public should not be the exclusive property of one television station. Indeed, broadcast stations and civic organizations across the state should have been insisting for months on a series of live, unscripted and unrestricted debates.
The public interest here is wide dissemination of such debates. Those who host the encounters should understand and support that."
The Roanoke Times has neglected to mention any of the relevant facts of the story, instead they have slanted their editorial to make it appear that the Kilgore campaign is reneging on an acceptance of the rules. That is a complete fabrication on the part of The Times.
On Aug. 10, Kaine's campaign said it would accept the Sabato-WWBT debate unconditionally. In a release, Elleithee wrote, "We are also fully accepting the rules, logistics and format as determined by the debate sponsors."
That would seem to include the rules regarding a no-use agreement. But late Tuesday, Kaine campaign manager Mike Henry released a letter to Sabato saying his camp was considering whether to sign the agreement. It said Kaine intends to be at the debate one way or the other.
This type of dishonest editorializing should be reported as an "in kind" political contribution, and Ms. Zomparelli and Mr. Denton should apologize to their readers for deliberately misleading them.