Friday, an ad sponsored by former Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign first aired attacking former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The ad, titled "History Lesson," is simple: a 30 second clip from 1997 of NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw describing ethics charges against Gingrich. The ad comes in part of a campaign that is "destroying" Gingrich (in the words of a Romney staffer) in the lead-up to Tuesday's Florida primary. NBC has asked the Romney campaign to withdraw the ad, and Brokaw (in statement on his personal behalf and not for NBC) said, "I am extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad. I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign." NBC's Legal Department wrote a letter to the Romney campaign "asking for the removal of all NBC News material from their campaign ads," but Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom told reporters that they will not remove it, as they, "believe it falls within fair use." On the NBC's Today Show Monday morning, Romney defended the ad, but said his campaign officials would be meeting with NBC lawyers to discuss it.
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