Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I've been saying that we weren't going to stop Sinclair's airing of Stolen Honor with advertiser boycotts and other attacks on Sinclair, and I'm delighted to learn that I've been proved partly wrong -- hats off to everyone who kept the pressure on.

Still, as this L.A. Times/Yahoo News story notes, some portion of the film will be broadcast

on 40 of Sinclair's 62 stations, including three each in the crucial swing states of Ohio and Florida....

Critics said the new program would probably still represent a wide airing for the charges that Sherwood made in the 42-minute "Stolen Honor" — namely that Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities prolonged the ordeal of American prisoners.

That's still a bit worrisome.

On the other hand, when we're told that the title of the broadcast is "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media" and the company's press release quotes Sinclair's CEO as saying,

The company and many of its executives have endured personal attacks of the vilest nature, as well as calls on our advertisers and our viewers to boycott our stations and on our shareholders to sell their stock. In addition, and more shockingly, we have received threats of retribution from a member of Senator John Kerry's campaign and have seen attempts by leading members of Congress to influence the Federal Communications Commission to stop Sinclair from broadcasting this news special. Moreover, these coordinated attacks have occurred without regard to the facts ...

We cannot in a free America yield to the misguided attempts by a small but vocal minority to influence behavior and trample on the First Amendment rights of those with whom they might not agree....

I have to assume that the point of the broadcast is going to shift -- from That Indirect POW Torturer Kerry to Those Jackbooted Liberal Censors. That's an improvement -- who the hell's going to want to sit around on Friday night and watch that, other than the hardcore Bush crowd?

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