Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Sinclair Broadcasting – A Classic What To Think

The last few days have seen the leftwing blogosphere apoplectic over the decision by the Sinclair Broadcasting Company to air on the many TV stations is owns a documentary titled “Stolen Honor” that is about the allegations that Kerry’s Viet Nam service was less than honorable.

Those of us on the left are falling for the bait, “Big Time.” There’s a database of Sinclair’s advertisers, complete with names and phone numbers, so all of us outraged dems can call the Dayton Ohio Tire Center to complain about their advertising on Sinclair, the license renewal info for each station has been posted so we can all remember to complain at license renewal time, and there’s even some corporate info posted designed to help drive down the company’s stock price.

The outrage stems from the fact that many of these stations are in swing states, and that the allegations have proven effective at getting people to dislike Kerry and support the Other Guy. Oh, and that the allegations are demonstrably false.

All of which misses the point, in my view. Gather round, chillin’, and have the World’s Most Reasonable Man tell you What to Think:

This entire Affair has been orchestrated to prevent the showing of our “Stolen Glory,” “Fahrenheit 911.” There’s been some talk of getting Fahrenheit 911 on broadcast air before the elections. And while Fahrenheit 911 is scrupulously accurate, those on the right can concoct some arguments that suggest there are come cut corners. In my view, there are some corners that may be a wee bit cut, but so what – the overall message is unquestionably accurate.

Like everything else, at the end of the day this is about money. No one would care if the nice fascists over at the Sinclair Broadcasting Company wanted to donate an hour’s worth of air time to show their little exercise in rapid right-wing nuttery. But the fair market value of the time would have to clear the various legal requirements for political donations. (Whether it could clear these hurdles or not, I don’t know.) It would be a significant sum of money, but hardly anything compared with 90 minutes of NBC, ABC and CBS, which is what some on the left have been contemplating. The point is either to make sure that Fahrenheit 911 never sees broadcast air, or that if it does, it will be mind-numbingly expensive.

And that, dears, is What To Think for today.

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