O’Donnell sorry after threatening to sue station over interview
Christine O’Donnell’s campaign has issued an apology to a Delaware radio station she reportedly threatened to sue the station if it didn’t turn over video of an interview.
The Republican candidate for Senate from Delaware and a Tea Party favorite went on WDEL’s Rick Jensen Show for an interview that was broadcast live over the air and streamed in video over the Internet.
Shortly after the interview, WDEL reports, O’Donnell demanded that the station hand over copies of the video.
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.
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.
WDEL notes that it routinely posts video of in-station interviews and that O’Donnell evidently didn’t object to the practice when she came to a previous interview in September.
Now the O’Donnell camp appears to have backed off the threat. WDEL reports that they issued an apology to the station, saying that there are no “legal issues” surrounding the video. O’Donnell Press Secretary Doug Satchel reportedly said he is happy with WDEL’s coverage of O’Donnell’s campaign.
Though neither WDEL nor the O’Donnell campaign addressed what may have prompted O’Donnell to want the tape removed from public view, Eric Kleefeld at TalkingPointsMemo notes O’Donnell ran intro trouble during the interview when she couldn’t answer what she would do differently, in terms of tax policy, from her opponent.
The fireworks begin a bit more than halfway through, when Jensen discussed O’Donnell attacks on Democratic nominee Chris Coons’s record as New Castle County Executive. Jensen pointed out the pluses of Coons’s leadership — the tax increases were fairly small in the face of a massive revenue shortfall after the subprime collapse, and he negotiated tough deals with the public employee unions — and asked O’Donnell what tax and spending decisions she would have done differently.
O’Donnell became unable to give specifics at a certain point, and the subject became only more heated as callers continued asking, as well. O’Donnell repeatedly insisted that she was running for Senate, not for county council, while Jensen countered that she was criticizing Coons on the basis of his county performance.
View the O’Donnell interview here.
Most recent polls have shown O’Donnell trailing her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, by double digits, even though her improbable victory in the Republican primary garnered her far more national media attention.
That attention may not have swayed the Delaware electorate, but it appears to have attracted large amounts of out-of-state cash to the race. Outside groups have reportedly spent $1.4 million on the race so far.