Tuesday, October 12, 2004


It was with great disappointment yesterday that I read about the Sinclair Broadcasting Group's plan to air an anti-Kerry "documentary" during prime time on its stations, many of which are in "battleground states". The Sinclair Group's leaders have been major supporters of Bush, and all Sinclair stations have been ORDERED to show the film.

There have been protests about Sinclair's plans, as some Democratic politicians have cried foul... but the truth of the matter is there's no way to stop Sinclair from following through with its plan. What they are doing is not legal according to FCC rules, but any protest won't be resolvable until after the election. So, they will do their damage now and then pay what should be a very affordable fine for their blatant transgression later. Sinclair is saying it has taken care of the equal-time problem by offering Kerry a chance to make an on-air rebuttal statement after the showing of the film, but that he declined their offer.

Gee, if Sinclair stations show something so obviously biased toward the Bush camp, how far behind is the FOX network? What will they show? Maybe they won't try and get in on the act because they won't consider it necessary given the right-wing bent of their "news" channel... maybe they feel like they are doing their job so well already that they don't need to do much else? Although somehow I can't see Rupert Murdoch sitting on his hands if the election is going to be as close as it's shaping up to be.

Of one thing I am certain: we won't be seeing any of the rest of the "liberal media" stepping forward to show "Fahrenheit 9-11", "Uncovered" or "Outfoxed" between now and November 2. Maybe CBS could try it... they don't have much to lose after being so thoroughly discredited when the "Bush military records" were revealed as fakery. On the other hand (please correct me if I am in error), was it CBS which kow-towed to the conservative knuckleheads about CBS' plan for the showing of the Ronald Reagan TV-movie? I think it was, but I could be wrong there. The vocal Reaganite Yayhoos were able to get the network to drop it, and it wound up on something like HBO or Showtime... Whatever. I don't believe there is such a thing as "the Liberal Media", and I doubt any major networks will step up to provide a foil to the Sinclair Group by making some equal time for John Kerry.

I have always maintained that the media are only as liberal as the corporations who own them, and I view Sinclair's planned airing of the anti-Kerry film as further proof. I guess it just goes to show that freedom of the press is mainly reserved for those who own the presses.

On the positive side, the anti-Kerry film shouldn't be seen in every home in America. Of its 62 stations, I don't think Sinclair even has any in Oregon or Washington. I believe those voters who see the film won't be "undecided", but rather will be viewers who have already made up their minds. If a voter is still "undecided", I believe that is because he or she is a thoughtful person... and that he or she will see through such transparent b.s. as the movie the Sinclair Group plans to air.


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