Sinclair may or may not be backpedaling in regard to its plan to air a documentary attacking presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry on Election Eve. It is either/or because the broadcaster waffles so in its announcement, an effort to either repudiate, soften or mask its previous aggressive stance. The phrase "cognitive dissonance" does not do the company's ambiguity justice. Perhaps sinking stock prices and shareholders threatening to sue your rabbit ears off have that effect.
Salon has the details.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is rethinking its controversial decision to use its more than 60-plus television stations nationwide for political purposes on the eve of the election by forcing them to air an anti-Kerry documentary, "Stolen Honor." Under siege from angry Democrats, and hearing from unsettled advertisers, analysts and shareholders , the Maryland-based communications giant, with a heavy Republican slant, moved on Tuesday to clarify its plans. It now insists "Stolen Honor" will not air in its entirety, instead the news special "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media" is scheduled and will be seen on 39 of its 62 stations.
It is not clear what "A POW Story" is. The announcement described it as a look at how the news media 'filters' information. But, it seems to me that a broadcast about that topic would not necessarily be about POWs. Will the new show be selected outtakes from "Stolen Honor"? Will it host veterans who were POWs, but have no actual knowledge of Kerry's performance in Vietnam? How is airing it any different than airing "Stolen Honor"? If "Stolen Honor" is being tabled, why alter regular programming at all?
Newsday believes it has read the static correctly.
Sinclair Broadcast Group yesterday lashed out at critics of a planned program featuring the complaints of former POWs about Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam-era anti-war activities, as its stock price continued to fall, shareholders threatened to sue and Democratic supporters offered to buy time for a pro-Kerry film.