Saturday, October 9

Why One Element of the Telecommunications Act Should Be Reinstated

No, not necessarily the Fairness Doctrine. Otherwise, Air America stations would be saddled with that equal time thing as well as the wingnut stations. I'm talking about the better equalizer: The ability for the public to challenge broadcast license renewals every few years.

This kept broadcasters more honest than the Fairness Doctrine ever did. It was the true litmus test as to whether or not the station was in fact operating "in the public interest."

Of course today, we'd have the Rove Rats challenging the licenses of all the aforementioned Air America affiliates every time theirs came up for renewal. But I can still dream - especially when I read a story like this.
Conservative TV Group to Air Anti-Kerry Film
Sinclair, with reach into many of the nation's homes, will preempt prime-time shows. Experts call the move highly unusual.

NEW YORK - The conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose television outlets reach nearly a quarter of the nation's homes with TV, is ordering its stations to preempt regular programming just days before the Nov. 2 election to air a film that attacks Sen. John F. Kerry's activism against the Vietnam War, network and station executives familiar with the plan said Friday.

Sinclair's programming plan, communicated to executives in recent days and coming in the thick of a close and intense presidential race, is highly unusual even in a political season that has been marked by media controversies.

Sinclair has told its stations - many of them in political swing states such as Ohio and Florida - to air "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," sources said. The film, funded by Pennsylvania veterans and produced by a veteran and former Washington Times reporter, features former POWs accusing Kerry - a decorated Navy veteran turned war protester - of worsening their ordeal by prolonging the war. Sinclair will preempt regular prime-time programming from the networks to show the film, which may be classified as news programming, according to TV executives familiar with the plan.

The airing of "Stolen Honor" will be followed by a panel discussion, which Kerry will be asked to join, thus potentially satisfying fairness regulations, the sources said.

Kerry campaign officials said they had been unaware of Sinclair's plans to air the film, and said Kerry had not received an invitation to appear.
Apparently, everyone associated with this project isn't a human being. They appear to be...cockroaches.
Executives at Sinclair did not return calls seeking comment, but the Kerry campaign accused the company of pressuring its stations to influence the political process.

"Stolen Honor" was made by Carlton Sherwood, a Vietnam veteran and former reporter for the conservative Washington Times who is also the author of a book about the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. On the website for the film, he tells viewers, "Intended or not, Lt. Kerry painted a depraved portrait of Vietnam veterans, literally creating the images of those who served in combat as deranged drug-addicted psychopaths, baby killers" that endured for 30 years in the popular culture.

Sherwood did not return calls seeking comment.
Hey, what a surprise. Wingnut Fake Tough-Guys - doing what they do best: throwing verbal hand grenades into the public, then running under the refrigerator when the lights come on.