Bringing Katie Couric into the lipstick debate

Barack Obama wasn’t the only one ticked off by the way the McCain campaign jumped all over his use of the phrase “lipstick on a pig.” CBS on Wednesday forced YouTube to yank a John McCain Web ad titled “Lipstick” because the commercial used unauthorized footage of CBS anchor Katie Couric.

The ad showed a clip of Obama’s comments during a campaign event Tuesday in Virginia in which he said, “You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.” McCain’s campaign accused him of making a sexist dig at Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a charge Obama heatedly disputed, saying he was referring to McCain’s policies.

To buttress its argument, the McCain campaign used footage in its ad from a Web commentary Couric did this year on about the media’s coverage of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. “One of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life,” Couric said.

By midday Wednesday, viewers looking for the ad on YouTube instead got the message: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by CBS Interactive Inc.”


In a statement, the network said that “CBS News does not endorse any candidate in the presidential race.”

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the campaign thought the Couric footage was allowable under the fair-use exception to copyright laws.

a Web commentary Couric did this year on Matea Gold

and Maeve Reston