April 30, 2004
More on Sinclair
The Center for American Progress fills in some more details about Sinclair, the owner of several ABC affiliates which won't be showing tonight's Nightline. To put it mildly, these guys have been strongly supportive of President Bush. Check it out, and scroll down to the bottom of the page for a link to get CAP's stuff via email.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 30, 2004 to Iraq attack
Chatted with someone who used to be with Washington Bureau last night. Heard a totally different angle. Koppel's still pissed about the "Letterman Threat" and this is a way for him to generate hype and attention so he can keep his timeslot until he decides to walk away like Brinkley did.
I'm surprised that after years of affiliate battles, Cox and Belo aren't kiboshing this one just for the black eye to Affiliate Relations.
John McCain gave Sinclair a nice smackdown in a response he sent to them this morning:
I write to strongly protest your decision to instruct Sinclair's ABC affiliates to preempt this evening's Nightline program. I find deeply offensive Sinclair's objection to Nightline's intention to broadcast the names and photographs of Americans who gave their lives in service to our country in Iraq.
I supported the President's decision to go to war in Iraq, and remain a strong supporter of that decision. But every American has a responsibility to understand fully the terrible costs of war and the extraordinary sacrifices it requires of those brave men and women who volunteer to defend the rest of us; lest we ever forget or grow insensitive to how grave a decision it is for our government to order Americans into combat. It is a solemn responsibility of elected officials to accept responsibility for our decision and its consequences, and, with those who disseminate the news, to ensure that Americans are fully informed of those consequences.
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. War is an awful, but sometimes necessary business. Your decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war's terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. I hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly deserves.
Sinclair gave a smackdown back at McCain, too:
Senator McCain, together with you, I also support the President's decision to go to war in Iraq. Moreover, while I don't disagree that Americans need to understand the costs of war and sacrifices of our military volunteers, I firmly believe that responsible journalism requires that a discussion of these costs must necessarily be accompanied by a description of the benefits of military action and the events that precipitated that action. To those who would accuse Sinclair of censorship, we ask that they consider the daily decisions of network shows like "Nightline" as to what issues to cover and how they are to be presented, decisions that necessarily involve ignoring other issues and points of view that the networks choose not to present to the American public.
Hey elgato -
I'll listen to a war hero like McCain before I listen to a slimeball rightard like the Sinclair CEO (who, by the way, apparently didn't get the memo about right-wing family values).
(See the 3:31 entry).
Wingers don't want people to understand the sacrifices people like my neighbor have made to keep Sinclair executives in Mercedes.
Your neighbor is just a name and a graphic to be loaded and then replaced with another graphic to Koppel and his producer, who have already told several whopping lies regarding the piece.
Not knowing when Sweeps begins?
A 41-year news veteran not knowing if a piece will generate controversy when the EP and Koppel were familiar and based the concept on the Life magazine article that ended up being cited as one of many media pieces meant to skew sentiment towards anti-war activism?
Memorial Day isn't the appropriate time to air an "honoring the fallen" piece?
It's either pure insanity or pure bullshit, but either way it isn't the reverent piece they claim it is.