NFL flags Feingold ad for using clip of mooning Moss; Wis. senator’s campaign agrees to edit

By Dinesh Ramde, AP
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NFL flags Wis. senator’s ad for using Moss clip

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold’s campaign agreed to edit its latest television ad Tuesday after the NFL said it contained unauthorized footage of Randy Moss pretending to moon Green Bay fans during a game.

The ad, which the campaign said was released statewide, opens with a series of clips of football players dancing in the end zone. Then the Democratic senator says the celebrations are similar to the way his challenger seems to be celebrating a premature victory in the Senate race.

A four-second clip shows Moss wearing his Minnesota Vikings uniform, while the others clips are not from NFL games.

“We did not license the footage and have contacted the senator’s campaign about removing it,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press in an e-mail. Feingold spokesman John Kraus responded later, saying the campaign would edit the ad “to accommodate the NFL’s concerns.”

Polls show Feingold slightly trailing his Republican opponent, political newcomer Ron Johnson of Oshkosh, with four weeks left before the general election.

The NFL clip shows Moss pretending to moon the crowd after catching a touchdown pass in a 2005 playoff game in Green Bay. He then dances briefly before accepting hugs from two teammates. The stunt drew a $10,000 fine.

In the ad, Feingold said such stunts are called “excessive celebration,” punishable by fines and 15-yard penalties, and are “exactly the kind of behavior the corporate special interests and Ron Johnson are engaging in.”

He goes on to say his opponents are celebrating because they think they’ll take down a staunch enemy of Washington lobbyists.

“Fortunately the game isn’t over yet,” the senator says in the ad.

Johnson campaign spokeswoman Sara Sendek said Feingold’s ad was a desperate attempt to shift the conversation away from his political record.

“It seems to me that Sen. Feingold is the only one worried about polls,” she said. “Ron is worried about the direction this country is heading.”


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