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Stop Sinclair Broadcast Group!


Rick Munroe
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Between October 21 and 24, Sinclair Broadcast Group will force the local television stations it owns and operates to preempt regular network broadcasts and devote one hour to a slanted, inaccurate anti-Kerry documentary.

 

Sinclair, a major Republican contributor, is one of the largest television broadcasters in the country and it reaches 24% of television households in the United States. This is the same Sinclair that ordered seven of its stations not to air Nightline's broadcast featuring the names of the 700 U.S. troops who had died in Iraq at that time.

 

Sign the petition and pass it on now: http://www.stopsinclair.org/index.php

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So, there are plenty of other stations. You are assuming that this might change the election? I am not in knowledge of law so I admit my next statement might not be relevant. Were there any movie theaters that were forced to film Michael Moore's film? It would be interesting (at least to me) to hear from someone more knowledegable.

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I also forgot to mention. The Christian Right is so afraid of nudity and/or other things they don't like (I am an atheist). Once again my response is there are other channels (or close you eyes). Are you trying to prevent people from seeing something you don't want them to see?

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FLJohn:

 

The problem is that Sinclair is forcing about 70 stations to preempt their regular prime time programming to broadcast a film that is essentially a political propaganda piece, paid for by Republicans. They intend to do so calling it a "news" program. Michael Moore has made it abundantly clear that Fahrenheit 911 is a political opinion piece. Sinclair is calling this one "news". It is a blatant abuse of public airwaves to force this political diatribe on the public under the guise of it being "news". I've already made a formal complaint with the FCC regarding this, and hope others will do the same. You might also want to consider the fact that Sinclair has refused to air paid Kerry commercials. If a company is licensed to broadcast on public airwaves, they are required to abide by the rules governing their license. This is a clear violation of that license, but they hope to do it anyway because they don't give a damn about the law.

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It is my understanding that Sinclair owns the stations, so they are entitled to tell the stations what to broadcast. Remember, Republicans including Sinclair also have freedom of speech. It is not limited to Democrats yet.

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>Sinclair, a major Republican contributor, is one of the

>largest television broadcasters in the country and it reaches

>24% of television households in the United States. This is

>the same Sinclair that ordered seven of its stations not to

>air Nightline's broadcast featuring the names of the 700 U.S.

>troops who had died in Iraq at that time.

 

Hey Rick, could you tell me what major cable channels constitute that 24%, if any? I'm not trying to be facetious, but I really want to know which of the 100's of channels offered by my cable provider are Sinclair owned and carried nationally? Aren't most of them confined to local independent stations? As such, and in the worst scenario, they constitute less than 1/4 of the stations broadcast into American households, I fail to see the BIG deal.

 

 

>Sign the petition and pass it on now:

>http://www.stopsinclair.org/index.php

>

 

I'll pass, thanks, as the last time I followed one of your links, I got bombarded with far left emails, got put on mailing lists that despite numerous requests, I still can not get off of and doing so has come up more than once, during background checks for federal contracting opportunities. I'm not castigating you, but just stating that such sites could cost you peace of mind and employment opportunities.

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I find it very suspect that this documentary would surface just before the election. I am very concerned that it will be filled with multiple innacuracies which many will assume to be factual. Unfortunatelly, the Kerry campaign will not have enough time to address any false claims in the doc.

 

The timing is very concerning to me. It could have a devasting effect in the out come of the elections.

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>It is my understanding that Sinclair owns the stations, so

>they are entitled to tell the stations what to broadcast.

>Remember, Republicans including Sinclair also have freedom of

>speech. It is not limited to Democrats yet.

 

This is not by any means a case of free speech. As Josh Marshall said today:

 

I had been thinking about a post that would put in stark terms what is going on with this Sinclair Broadcasting stunt, noting how it amounts to a massive in-kind contribution from Sinclair to the Bush-Cheney campaign to pay for the broadcast of an hourlong Swift Boat ad ("Stolen Honor") smack down in the middle of primetime broadcasting on local network television channels across the country. After all, it's the same basic material and it even includes several of the same aggrieved veterans.

 

But like I said, too generous. It isn't like a Swift Boat ad. It actually is a Swift Boat ad.

 

...a September 29th press release on the 'Stolen Honor' website announced that 'POWs for Truth', the sponsor of the 'documentary', was merging with 'Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' to form the new consolidated group 'Swift Vets and POWs For Truth.'

 

If it weren't so disgusting, it would almost be funny.

 

So the Swift Boat folks are hawking a 'documentary' put together by a guy who has specialized for the last fifteen years or so in made-to-order investigations for various right-wing outfits like Rev. Moon. Sinclair orders their 62 network affiliates to run the thing in prime time days before the election. And they give the Swift Boat folks the ad time for free on the premise that they're running it as news programming.

 

Unlike cable programming, local broadcast licenses aren't 'owned' -- courts have always been clear on this. The right to broadcast over a given slice of spectrum is public property on loan to the broadcaster in exchange for providing programming in the public interest. This move is but a paler version of the de-democratization we're now seeing in Russia as the standing government asserts increasing control over a nominally independent media.

 

It's not a 'fairness' or a free speech issue. It's a massive and quite public case of election and campaign finance fraud.

 

It's the sort of thing that, if it happens, will put the legitimacy of the entire election into doubt.

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Actually the articles I have read about the Sinclair Group showing this Program say that the Sinclair Group has invited one guest as part of the showing... John Kerry. Maybe he should take the opportunity they are offering (don't know if it is an equal time thing or not)to defend whatever is in the Program that is negative. Not having seen the Program I have no idea what is in it to have an opinion either way.

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As we know, the liberal media have been promoting Democrat candidates under the guise of "news" for many years and have become more blatant with each presidential election. Chris Matthew's Hardball is an hour devoted to discussing how to promote Democrat candidates and defeat Republicans. Prior to an election, Larry King showcases democrats. We have seen the sad spectacle of Dan Rather being caught in allowing his strong bias to trump his journalistic judgment. And an ABC memo directs bias toward Kerry, on the theory that his admitted lies are not as "central" as Bush's. On and On. If the FCC acts to prevent Sinclair from airing this film, it will be committing itself to a new and massive regulation of the media. It will ultimately be obligated to monitor "news" broadcasts for impartiality. Any step it takes will be good for Republicans, bad for Democrats. It will also force a re-examination of the concept of campaign finance reform. Reforms which stifle private expenditures while leaving biased "news" untouched are clearly an unjustified and dangerousl encroachment on freedom of speech.

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Reed Hundt, former head of the FCC, had this to say today:

 

Why is it important that Sinclair Broadcasting be urged, in all lawful ways that can be imagined, to reconsider its decision to broadcast on its television stations the anti-Kerry "documentary"?

 

Because in a large, pluralistic information society democracy will not work unless electronic media distribute reasonably accurate information and also competing opinions about political candidates to the entire population. Certainly, for the overwhelming number of voters this year, controlling impressions of the candidates for President are obtained from television.

 

In all countries, candidates for public office governments aspire to have favorable information and a chorus of favorable opinion disseminated through mass media to the citizenry. In a democracy, on the eve of a quadrennial election, the incumbent government plainly has a motive to encourage the media to report positively on its record but also negatively on the rival. But its role instead is to make sure that broadcast television promote democracy by conveying reasonably accurate reflections of where the candidates stand and what they are like.

 

To that end, since television was invented, Congress and its delegated agency, the Federal Communications Commision, together have passed laws and regulations to ensure that broadcast television stations provide reasonably accurate, balanced, and fair coverage of major Presidential and Congressional candidates. These obligations are reflected in specific provisions relating to rights to buy advertising time, bans against the gift of advertising time, rights to reply to opponents, and various other specific means of accomplishing the goal of balance and fairness. The various rules are part of a tradition well known to broadcasters and honored by almost all of them. This tradition is embodied in the commitment of the broadcasters to show the conventions and the debates.

 

Part of this tradition is that broadcasters do not show propaganda for any candidate, no matter how much a station owner may personally favor one or dislike the other. Broadcasters understand that they have a special and conditional role in public discourse. They received their licenses from the public -- licenses to use airwaves that, for instance, cellular companies bought in auctions -- for free, and one condition is the obligation to help us hold a fair and free election. The Supreme Court has routinely upheld this "public interest" obligation. Virtually all broadcasters understand and honor it.

 

Sinclair has a different idea, and a wrong one in my view. If Sinclair wants to disseminate propaganda, it should buy a printing press, or create a web site. These other media have no conditions on their publication of points of view. This is the law, and it should be honored. In fact, if the FCC had any sense of its responsibility as a steward of fair elections its chairman now would express exactly what I am writing to you here.

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Merlin, youhave no understanding of the F.C.C. and how it regulates over-the-air broadcasters, and you have even less understanding of the concept of freedom of speech.

 

When the F.C.C. grants a license to a broadcaster it is specifically under the conditions that any free time to political candidates mandates that the opposition candiates get "equal time". The time needs to be equivalent, like you can't give your favorite candidate a prime time spot, and give his opponent "equal time" at 3 AM. These are strict conditions under which the license are granted, and there are fines for violations, and possible loss of license. Unfortuantely the Chairman of the F.C.C. right now is Michael Powell (the idiot son of Colin Powell - how does that happen?). He has operated the F.C.C. as a Republican opperative for his entire time in the job. It is unlikely he will enforce the equal time requirements if Sinclair goes ahead with their plan. But it is the law, and it is a condition of the license.

 

The stations can sell time to whoever can afford to buy it. The station owners have some leeway with propriety. However the Sinclair stations have refused political adds from John Kerry, also in violation of thier license conditions. This is a true violation of free speech.

 

These rules only apply to over-the-air stations, as the Federal Government controls and grants the bandwidths to the license holders. These rules do not apply to cable.

 

What Sinclair is doing is outrageous and completely un-American and most probably illegal. Didn't anyone on thisboard(other than Rick Monroe) take Civics in High School?

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Merlin, I watch Chris Matthews regularly, and I don't know how you can say that this is a show that promotes Democrats. His show is one of the truly fair looks a politics on TV today. By the way, although Matthews served in the Peace Corps and worked for Jimy Carter, he has stated on his show that he is now a registered Republican.

 

And how can you dream up that the liberal media promotes Democrats? I don't know what liberal media you are referring to. Maybe you just have a hard time dealing with media that reports facts that you don't happen to like. And have you watched FOX lately? That is one 24-Hour infomercial fo the Republican party.

 

Americans need to be very careful to separate facts from wishes today. We all wish that America was always right, and that it always did the right thing, but unfortunaltly it doesn't. The current administration has run amuck, and it is the most patriotic thing that we can do to point out the errors, and work for regime change at home. We all love our country, but we need to be ready to fix what is wrong with it, and not turn a blind eye to it.

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Obviously Hundt is a democrat since he pretends that the broadcast media are balance and do not propagandize in favor of candidates. Fox is the only channel that is Republican-friendly.

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Capitalism Has Already Voted

 

As a CNBC commentator pointed out this morning, Sinclair Broadcasting has dropped from $15 a share in December, to $7 a share today.

 

Could their political involvement be part of an attempt to cover up management problems? Ken Lay, where are you when we need you?

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