Fox Pulls, Restores Clinton Videos on YouTube

All the buzz generated by Chris Wallace's explosive "Fox News Sunday" interview with former president Bill Clinton surely came as great news to the Fox News publicity staff and management. "Sunday" has long lagged behind its competitors and this was just the kind of press it needed.

Part of the reason the interview got so much attention was the internet. But because Fox hasn't provided an easy way for its visitors to link to videos, all the web traffic for the interview went to sites which did make it easy to view, YouTube, Hot Air, and others. This must've upset someone in the legal department over at Fox Television because yesterday, YouTube users who used the keywords "fox news" in their descriptions of the Clinton-Wallace exchange received cease and desist letters from YouTube which said Fox News had lodged copyright claims against it. (h/t USS Neverdock)

After huffing at bloggers for posting its show content Monday, the next day, Fox reversed course and all the YouTube videos were restored. My guess is that some overly ambitious Fox attorney happened to see this TVNewser item about how FoxNews.com lost a large amount of web traffic and fired off a complaint letter to YouTube, not knowing that doing so would do more harm than good from a PR standpoint.

Update 11:18. At least initially, Fox failed to realize that far from harming their interests, web sites like YouTube actually help promote the network in a way that it can't. Many people instinctively distrust the "MSM" or "corporate media" (depending on your perspective). Online video sites provide a way for people to look at things from the grassroots, it also great for television shows (especially "Fox News Sunday" which is primarily watched by older viewers) to expand their market share. Good to see someone realized this at Fox News and pushed for the reversal.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013