T Nation

Sinclair Broadcasting

Sinclair Broadcasting will be airing a film called: “Stolen Honor Wounds That Never Heal” on 67 of it’s stations. The film depicts John Kerry in a very negative light. Some of these stations are in key battle ground states.

There will be no negative documentary regarding President Bush to counter balance the Kerry film. The Kerry forces are attempting to stop the airing of this documentary.

In my opinion Broadcasters cross the line when they air only one side of an issue. While I support the Presidents reelection, I disagree with Sinclairs obvious attempt to sway this election.

I am interested to hear how others on this forum feel about this issue.

It’s about time the broadcast media had someone on the right to counter-balance the systematic left-wing support of the elite-media that has been going on since Woodward and Berstein.

Is it fair? Probably not - but neither is Dan Blather’s history of making shit up to support his left-wing beliefs(regardless of what the truth is). Neither is CBS’s blatant attempt to smear President Reagan and call it ‘entertainment’. Neither is MTV’s shit-for-brains support of anything left.

I say cheers to Sinclair for having the balls to make a stand.

Its crap.

ZEB,

I agree with you that this is a problematic practice.

Freedom of speech (in this case broadcasting) is an important thing. Restraint from misusing it should be a feature of any broadcasting company. But apparently its not. Hence, I find showing this movie shortly before the elections morally questionable. But as long as not told otherwise, it’s that broadcasters legal right to do so - although I do understand if the Kerry campaign decides to challenge it legally; and for exercising this right they should not be critisized.

I think it would be a sign of good sportmanship to refrain from showing any such stuff nearer than one month before an election, but sportmanship does not seem to be a feature in this election year.

… or perhaps they should show it in a double feature with Fahrenheit 9/11; so both candidates would be smeared equally. Would give them great Nielsen rankings as well… :wink:

Makkun

[quote]Right Side Up wrote:
Its crap. [/quote]

So, Michael More bodyfat, because he lives at home with is parents is allowed to present his view, but others can’t?

The whole rationale for any regulation of broadcasting is based on the theory of scarcity, which has been basically discredited technologically. Unfortunately, it lives on in legal precedents – otherwise the FCC would have as much power to stop them from broadcasting anything short of porn as they do to stop newspapers from printing things.

Still, FCC regulations generally prohibit it from engaging in pre-emptive censorship. The FCC can respond to complaints after the fact, and impose penalties, but not step into to censor the broadcast before it happens.

As for campaign-finance laws and various restrictions on free speech, my position, which is shared by a lot of folks, is that the Supreme Court and congress have built a system that is exactly ass-backwards. To the extent you can make an originalist argument about what the 1st Amendment was designed to protect from regulation, it was protecting political speech. Not the right to smear yourself in chocolate and run naked through the fields; not the right to make art by dipping crucifixes in urine; not screaming obscenities in Times Square. Those things are protected because it is too hard to differentiate, at the margins, between some things that might have a political component and those that don’t, and we don’t trust the government to make that distinction, generally.

Political speech, for those who need the reminder, is speech that is specifically intended to affect the political process – you know, affect elections.

Now, I haven’t seen the movie that Sinclair wants to show, and neither have most people complaining about it. If it’s false, I hope that Kerry has information at the ready to show that, and I hope all the TV networks will air it. The cure for bad/incorrect speech is good/correct speech.

Michael Moore’s movie was a big, steaming pile of crap that was designed to affect the election. I’ve never been for censoring his movie – lots of good info has come out to debunk all his crap, and if a certain portion of people refuses to believe the debunking, I’m guessing that a lot of those didn’t have their opinions swayed by the movie at any rate. But that’s how it’s supposed to work – crap comes out, people debunk/argue with it, and people make up their minds. That’s why it’s called the “marketplace of ideas.”

[quote]lincono wrote:
Right Side Up wrote:
Its crap.

So, Michael More bodyfat, because he lives at home with is parents is allowed to present his view, but others can’t?[/quote]

I had to leave my house and spend money to view Michael Moore’s film.

– Sinclair REQUIRED many of their stations to air the “film.”

– 97% of Sinclair’s polititcal contributions go to the GOP. Why does this matter? Sinclair stands to benefit from Bush’s election – what does Moore stand to gain from Kerry’s election, aside from a sense of justice?

[quote]Right Side Up wrote:
lincono wrote:
Right Side Up wrote:
Its crap.

So, Michael More bodyfat, because he lives at home with is parents is allowed to present his view, but others can’t?

I had to leave my house and spend money to view Michael Moore’s film.

– Sinclair REQUIRED many of their stations to air the “film.”

– 97% of Sinclair’s polititcal contributions go to the GOP. Why does this matter? Sinclair stands to benefit from Bush’s election – what does Moore stand to gain from Kerry’s election, aside from a sense of justice?[/quote]

If people don’t want to watch it - they can turn off the TV (and they don’t have to leave their house to do it).

Haven’t we heard that before - from the left - when they are trying to ram some liberal crap down our throats and tell us they have the right to free speech?

It works both ways, RSU - and since 80-something percent of the elite media voted left-wing in 2000, I don’t see what difference it makes who Sinclair contributes to.

This is a classic case of the left being militantly opposed to the right putting the shoe on the other foot.

We need a lot more of that.

rainjack:

I agree with your analysis of the media. No question, they are a liberal group. However, that does not make Sinclair correct either.

It seem’s to me that there is a sense of fair play that is being violated. No diferent than when CNN airs their obviously biased news program. If you are claiming that it’s okay because the media liberals have been biased for so many years, I disagree. This is a Presidential election, a serious matter indeed. Sinclair is obviously attempting to persuade voters with this film.

Would you feel the same if CBS, or CNN (both obviously biased) decided to air, for free, the Moore film a few days before the election? I think you, and I would be crying foul, and we would be correct!

I think the broadcasters should stay neutral when it comes politics. I have no problem with editorial commentary as long as that is what it is labeled. If someone from Sinclair broadcasting wanted to read editorial commentary on air and endorse President Bush, I say fine. Countless newspapers do this regularly.

I have to draw the line at airing such a biased film so close to election day. Again my sense of fair play is violated.

I think it adds some balance to that waste of celuloid Michael Moore produced.

The difference is this documentary seems to be based on actual fact rather then spin.

I agree with ZEB on this one. Airing it in August or even September would be one thing. Running it within a couple weeks of the election should be illegal.

If Clear Channel or some other company were to tell their stations to preempt regular programming to air F/911 a week before the election the screaming from a lot of you righties would be ear shattering. Why would you think this is ok?

[quote]ZEB wrote:
Would you feel the same if CBS, or CNN (both obviously biased) decided to air, for free, the Moore film a few days before the election? I think you, and I would be crying foul, and we would be correct![/quote]

I’ve not seen the program that Sinclair will be running - so I can’t comment on it.

However -

We’ve watched the elite media play games with fair reporting, ad nauseum, since Reagan won in 1980.

We’ve wathced the Democrats whore out the Whitehouse to the highest bidder, while defending the president’s confusion over the definition of two-lettered words.

You can’t swing a dead cat in Hollywood without hitting some left-wing freak bent on crushing Bush’s evil reign regardless of any factual basis (Janine Garafolo springs to mind).

I’m sick and tired of the Republicans, for the most part, doing the right thing and watching the left shit all over the rule book and try to cry about it when the tables turn. It’s a hell of a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. So if this program, breaks a rule - I’m sure Sinclair will pay for it.

This election is way to important for us to rely on the left’s sense of fair play, or lack thereof. I think for the first time in a long time, the Right has actually brought the right weapon to the fight.

I guess we just don’t see it the same way.

Yeah rainman, guys like Tom DeLay are all about fairness, right?

RSU,

Moore is in a better position if Bush wins. Moore likes to make money peddling cheap conspiracy to his mindless legions. The longer Bush stays in office, the more glory Moore can reap. No doubt he would like Kerry to win based on his politics, but Moore desperately wants to be the champion taking on the establishment, and if his views become the establishment, no more hero-worship. I personally think his vanity trumps his politics.

As for ‘Stolen Honor’,

I thought I heard that Kerry was offered a chance to rebut, but he declined. That might not be accurate, but if it is, it’s a shame - I’d love to see this crap get brought into light and settled once and for all.

Am I concerned that there isn’t a sense of fair play? Somewhat. But when I take the longer look at public television and radio - with Bill Moyers and NPR - I don’t get to bent out of shape about it.

On that note, go see Team America - the puppet show - and enjoy the aroma of roasted sacred cow.

[quote]tme wrote:
Yeah rainman, guys like Tom DeLay are all about fairness, right?[/quote]

If you are referring to the redistricting in the great state of Texas - I’d say that that you could not be more wrong.

What delay is doing is reversing almost 150 years of democratic gerrymandering.

Go to South Texas and see what kind of shit is still going on wrt dead people voting - voting for whom you might ask? Your buddies on the left side of the aisle.

If you are referring to Rep. Delay’s actions in the House of Representatives - I’m affraid you’re equally wrong. Remember the House banking scandal? How about Rosty Rostenkowski? Too old for you, peewee? How about The house post office scandal? Didn’t think you would know shit about that either. Let me clue you in - both of the above scandals were institutions in the house until 1994 - does that year ring a bell?

tme - you really need to just shut up and color.

rainman, I recognize that zeb is your idol, but trying to provoke me with the same snide, immature little jabs that he tried (and failed) on RSU isn’t going to work.

Tom DeLay is a two bit low-brow criminal, and it is likely just a matter of time before he faces criminal charges. If the PAC scandal in Texas doesn’t get him, maybe the Indian one will. If that doesn’t, the microscope will be on him and investigators will cross other parts of the slime trail he’s left behind. Just a matter of time, son.

Edit: Forgot to mention that I really don’t give two shits about Texas or anyone who comes from there. The last good thing to come out of Texas was Debra Jo Fondren, but that was way before your time.

[quote]tme wrote:
rainman, I recognize that zeb is your idol, but trying to provoke me with the same snide, immature little jabs that he tried (and failed) on RSU isn’t going to work.

tme:

Better think again! Do a search now and show me where I called RSU any of the above names!

After you do this search and fail you can come back on this thread and apologize to me…You can also apologize to the entire forum for what you have failed to bring to it!

[quote]tme wrote:
rainman, I recognize that zeb is your idol, but trying to provoke me with the same snide, immature little jabs that he tried (and failed) on RSU isn’t going to work.
[/quote]

You couldn’t be more wrong - funny you would accuse me of this in a thread where Zeb and I actually part ways philosophically. But that’s typical of you and your knee-jerk bullshit retorts.

I’m not trying to provoke any thing - in fact your the one who has called me out in this thread. I could give a shit less about you - I don’t even know you.

Immature? you just made a completely unsubstantiated charge against Tom Delay - check that - you made two. The hypocrisy you wear stinks.

It would be bully-esque of me to call you out - what with it being cow-ship collectin’ season up there, and all.

tme,

“Forgot to mention that I really don’t give two shits about Texas or anyone who comes from there.”

How childish. Did Texas pick you last at kickball last year at recess, tme?

It’s amazing how the commitment to free speech seems to wither as soon as the person asked is confronted with speech he or she finds odious.