Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sinclair Backs Down…Sort Of

Sinclair Broadcasting Group has announced that they will not require their 62 stations to carry the film Stolen Honor. Instead they will offer a “news” event that will include clips of the film and “examine the role of the media in filtering the information contained in these documentaries, allegations of media bias by media organizations that ignore or filter legitimate news and the attempts by candidates and other organizations to influence media coverage.” In a press release they whined about a “small but vocal minority” that were determined to “trample on the First Amendment rights of those with whom they might not agree,” and claim that they never planned to air the film in its entirety anyway. Notice that they don’t mention the several lawsuits that were being threatened by various groups, including disgruntled stockholders who saw their investment in the company tanking.

Well, I suppose that’s the best you can expect from a company that has no qualms about making a mockery of journalism, including firing a news director who voiced disagreement with the company’s policy, and ignoring its responsibility to serve the public’s interest, convenience, and necessity as holders of FCC broadcasting licenses.

What I think, though, is the best twist of irony is that Sinclair is complaining that their mission to change the public’s opinion of John Kerry has been set back by the public’s opinion of Sinclair Broadcasting.