What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 13, 2004

Get Local!

What we know so far about Sinclair Broadcast Group:

1. Sinclair Broadcast Group also owns WPGH and WCWB in Pittsburgh.

2. In April of 2003, Sinclair Broadcasting fired much of of its new staff at Pittsburgh's WPGH in favor of feeds from a centralized newsroom in Baltimore.

3. Pittsburghers are no fools: WPGH's news ratings began dropping after Sinclair debuted their new format which included weather-from-another-state and a newscast with a decidedly right-wing bent.

4. Sinclair particpated in perpetuating a fraud against their viewers by airing a video news release touting the Bush administration's new Medicare prescription package, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as "news."

5. Sinclair ordered its seven ABC stations not to broadcast the April 2004 "Nightline" program that aired the names and photographs of the more than 500 U.S. troops killed (at that time) in the Iraq war.

6. Sinclair now plans to air a documentary that accuses Sen. John Kerry of betraying American prisoners during the Vietnam War. Sinclair has ordered all 62 of its stations to air "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" without commercials in prime-time. Sinclair is the owner of the largest group of television stations in the nation.

7. Commenting on the airing of "Stolon Honor" Mark Hyman who is the vice president for corporate relations for the Sinclair Broadcasting Group said on CNN:

"However, the accusations coming from Terry McAuliffe and others, is it because they are some elements of this that may reflect poorly on John Kerry? That it's somehow an in-kind contribution of George Bush?

If you use that logic and reasoning, that means every car bomb in Iraq would be an in-kind contribution to John Kerry. Weak job performance ratings that came out last month would have been an in- kind contribution to John Kerry. And that's just nonsense.

This is news. I can't change the fact that these people decided to come forward today. The networks had this opportunity over a month ago to speak with these people. They chose to suppress them. They chose to ignore them. They are acting like Holocaust deniers, pretending these men don't exist."

What You Can Do:

1. If you find Sinclair's obvious rightwing bias to be as troubling as I do, the best way to combat their agenda is to contact local advertisers who air commericals on thier stations and express your displeasure with Sinclairs's plans to air "Stolen Honor." A contact list of these advertisers can be found here:

(Click on the pull down menu at the top of the page and select "Pittsburgh.")

As suggested on the site above:

"Remember: Many of these people are ON OUR SIDE - don't be a jerk when you call or email them. Invite them to join in us in defending our democracy. If you don't know how to express yourself strongly without making threats then we do not need you help. Remember that there are real human beings on the receiving end of your letter, often a secretary - so don't take your anger with a right wing CEO out on some poor soul who makes $9/ hour answering phones - it just isn't right. "
2. Sign the Stop Sinclair Petition:

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