Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 9, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

PRIME TIME KERRY BASHING....Remember Sinclair, the conservative TV chain that refused to air the Nightline segment in which Ted Koppel recited the names of the war dead in Iraq? Guess what they're up to now?

Sinclair has told its stations many of them in political swing states such as Ohio and Florida to air "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," sources said. The film, funded by Pennsylvania veterans and produced by a veteran and former Washington Times reporter, features former POWs accusing Kerry a decorated Navy veteran turned war protester of worsening their ordeal by prolonging the war. Sinclair will preempt regular prime-time programming from the networks to show the film, which may be classified as news programming, according to TV executives familiar with the plan.

....Station and network sources said they have been told the Sinclair stations which include affiliates of Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, as well as WB and UPN will be preempting regular programming for one hour between Oct. 21 and Oct. 24, depending on the city.

They aren't just going to make this anti-Kerry film available for airing. They aren't going to recommend their affiliates show it. And they aren't going to put it on late at night.

They're going to preempt prime time network programming on 62 stations that reach 25% of the country's viewers. You're going to watch this Kerry-bashing agitprop whether you want to or not.

Of course, Sinclair will likely lose all or most of their advertising for this block of time, something that could be a real problem for a company whose stock has already dropped by 50% since January. And it might make it harder to sign up new stations too. If I were an investor, I wouldn't be very happy about this. In fact, if I were a Sinclair stockholder, I'd call them and let them know exactly what I thought of this:

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.
10706 Beaver Dam Road
Hunt Valley, MD 21030
Phone: (410) 568-1500
Fax: (410) 568-1533
Email: investor@sbgi.net

A complete list of Sinclair affiliates is here. If you don't like what's going on here, give your local station a call and put pressure on them to put pressure on Sinclair. This kind of thing really needs to be stopped in its tracks.

Kevin Drum 12:44 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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