Churning Sinclair Broadcast

Now it's starting to roll, with McCain, soldiers' relatives and media watchdogs speaking out.

From Sen. John McCain:

McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, sent a strongly worded letter to Sinclair Broadcast Group about its decision to pull Friday's "Nightline" from seven stations throughout the country.

"There is no valid reason for Sinclair to shirk its responsibility in what I assume is a very misguided attempt to prevent your viewers from completely appreciating the extraordinary sacrifices made on their behalf by Americans serving in Iraq," the Arizona Republican said in the letter Friday.

From Military Families Speak Out:

"The Sinclair Broadcast group is trying to undermine the lives of our soldiers killed in Iraq. By censoring `Nightline' they want to hide the toll the war on Iraq is having on thousands of soldiers and their families, like mine," wrote Jane Bright of West Hills, Calif. (Her son, Sgt. Evan Ashcraft, was killed in July near Mosul, Iraq.)

"We should be honoring all the men and women who have served," said Ivan Medina, 22, of Hinesville, Ga., who was with the Army in Iraq and whose twin brother, Irving, died there. "My hat goes off to `Nightline.'"

From the national media reform group Free Press:

"No one thinks for a second this decision has anything to do with journalism," McChesney said. "It's a politics-slash-business decision that Sinclair made because they don't want to (anger) the White House."

Sinclair, a political supporter of the Bush administration, is trying to curry favor with the White House to bolster chances of gaining changes in station ownership rules, McChesney alleged.

"The stench of corruption here is extraordinary," he said.

The White House is backtracking, Sinclair is silent. Don't forget the connection. Sinclair has contributed heavily to Bush -according open secrets the company or its directors have given over $200,000 to the RNC and Republican Candidates. $65,434 in 2004 political donations — 98 percent of that to Republicans and 2 percent to Democrats.

Tags: Media (all tags)



Benchmark moment?
Watching Nightline I wondered if we were at one of those benchmark moments.  Not like Tet 1968, but rather like Carter and the Iranian hostages.  The country supported Carter until the failure of the rescue mission.  After that, his incompetence was more or less taken for granted.

I also wondered what we would all feel watching this six months from now.  Will there be another show with the same number of dead?  Should Nightline do this on the last Friday of every month?

I was also surprised, a bit, that Koppel admitted he was in favor of the war.  I mean, I kind of knew that by how he had behaved before and during, but I stopped watching Nightline regularly years ago and I never heard him actually say that he supported the war.  I wonder if we took a poll of the SCLM how many of the faces and names that deliver what passes for news would say that they are against the war.

Anyone you know of?

by James Earl 2004-05-01 01:40PM | 0 recs
Good Question
I'm surprised that Koppel came out and said he's "for the war".  That to me seems not the sort of position a newscaster is supposed to take, given the polarization of the nation. That said, they'll usually take the route of least resistance anyway.
by Jerome Armstrong 2004-05-01 05:14PM | 0 recs
Actual quote
What he said, as close to a quote as I can get from memory is something like "Some think I did this because I oppose the war.  I don't oppose the war."

If he somehow thinks "don't oppose" doesn't mean "support" he is wrong.

by James Earl 2004-05-01 06:39PM | 0 recs
oh, yea
He's trying to keep the straddle on, that's more like it. I think in their world, "don't oppose" means something like, I don't have a position. But the measure would be, can he say:

"Some think I did this because I support the war.  I don't support the war."

I doubt it too.

by Jerome Armstrong 2004-05-02 06:58AM | 0 recs


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