During a radio interview on WDEL (which was being videotaped for the web), Christine O’Donnell, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate for Delaware, got testy when host Rick Jensen asked what she would do “specifically” to cut the deficit. When Jensen called O’Donnell out on factual errors, she quickly looked to her campaign advisor for help.
At the conclusion of the interview, a representative from the campaign who had been in the broadcast studio with O’Donnell asked that the video be turned over to the campaign and not released. He stated that the videotaping had not been approved by the O’Donnell campaign.
O’Donnell also told show host Rick Jensen that she would sue the radio station if the video was released.
WDEL routinely posts audio and video podcasts of interview segments on WDEL.com. O’Donnell’s appearance on WDEL in September had also been recorded and posted on the web.
O’Donnell’s campaign manager, Matt Moran, called WDEL and demanded that the video be immediately turned over to the campaign and destroyed. Moran threatened to “crush WDEL” with a lawsuit if the station didn’t comply.
An attorney representing the O’Donnell campaign contacted WDEL’s law firm Hogan Lovells and initially asked that the video not be released. WDEL’s attorney asserted that the interview and video were in compliance with all applicable laws, was clearly protected free speech under the First Amendment, and that the campaign had no grounds to demand the station withhold it from the public.
After seeing the video the attorney for the O’Donnell campaign contacted WDEL’s counsel again to apologize for charges made by their campaign manager. The attorney agreed that there was no legal issue with the video and expressed regret for the incident.