Skip to comments.Sinclair's Anti-Kerry Film So Annoys Brown He Takes 13 Minutes(CNN's Brown-Sinclair Interview)
Posted on 10/12/2004 9:48:25 AM PDT by fight_truth_decay
Brown set up his first October 11 NewsNight segment with a promise of fairness: "For those of you who believe that most media is hopelessly liberal, this will be the proof. You won't hear or believe that if the story in question were about an anti-Bush film, let's say 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' we would say exactly the same thing, do the segment exactly the same way, ask the same questions. We would. But we're not naive enough to believe that you would believe. So this segment is really for everyone else, for those who worry about fairness in media, who worry about power concentrated in a few hands. This is about a decision one company made to air a harsh political film in the days before the election on all of its dozens of TV stations, an indictment of John Kerry. A decision that says a fair amount about how the media rules have changed. A discussion on this in a moment. First, CNN's Howard Kurtz."
Kurtz's story, tracked down by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth, assumed Sinclair was in the wrong: "Closing days of a presidential campaign are a sensitive time when media organizations try not to do anything that would look like tilting toward one side or the other. But Sinclair Broadcasting doesn't worry, doesn't really seem to care if critics say the company is openly conservative. Sinclair has ordered its 62 television stations to preempt regular programming, days before the election, and air an aggressively anti-Kerry movie. It's called 'Stolen Honor,' by former Washington Times reporter and decorated Vietnam veteran Carlton Sherwood. The movie's argument is that when Lieutenant John Kerry testified about abuses in Vietnam after returning from combat, he was libeling all American soldiers there as, in Sherwood's words, 'deranged drug-addicted psychopaths,' 'baby killers,' and 'war criminals.' So why would Sinclair insist on carrying such a loaded, one-sided film? Could it have anything to do with the fact that Chief Executive David Smith is a strong supporter of President Bush? Or that its executives have donated nearly $70,000 on this campaign, 90 percent of it to Republicans? This is the same company that refused to carry an edition of Nightline last spring when Ted Koppel simply read, without comment, the names of all U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. Sinclair accused Koppel of pursuing an anti-war agenda. But the publicity was a boon for Nightline."
Ted Koppel: "Sinclair Broadcasting Group did more for our ratings that night than anything we could have done."
Kurtz: "As for 'Stolen Honor,' a Kerry campaign spokesman calls the Sinclair move a 'smear' and 'yellow journalism.' And Democratic Chairman Terry McAuliffe said today he would file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, charging Sinclair with making an in-kind contribution to the Bush campaign. It's hard to think of a precedent for all this. Imagine if, in the campaign's final week, CBS or CNN ran Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11' to whip up the audience against Bush. Understandably, there would be an uproar. A Sinclair vice president told the Washington Post that the film tells a powerful story, that the broadcast networks are acting like Holocaust deniers about Kerry's past. But Sinclair seems in denial about how partisan this looks on the even of an election. And its local stations from Baltimore to Sacramento aren't being given a choice. Howard Kurtz, CNN, Washington."
Brown introduced his first guest: "Mark Hyman is the executive Howard Kurtz mentioned. He's the Vice President for Corporate Relations and an on-air commentator for Sinclair Broadcast Group, and he joins us from Washington. We're glad to have him with us. This stuff, these accusations, the statements by POWs and others have been out there in ads for weeks, if not months. What makes this news?"
Mark Hyman, Sinclair Broadcasting Group: "Well, there are a couple things. First of all, Aaron, unfortunately, Howard Kurtz' piece was incorrect. We haven't even finalized a format on this. We haven't made a decision how we're going to air, what portions of this documentary will be aired. All we've done is made a place holder. And there's been quite a bit of outcrying response to, complaining about content about a program that doesn't even exist yet. We haven't even developed a project yet."
Brown: "Sounds to me like in the last three days since this story was first reported by the L.A. Times you're backing away from it."
Hyman: "No, the L.A. Times actually got it wrong. They made some statements that flat-out were wrong. We have not decided on a format. We've invited one guest to appear: John Kerry. One person. That's all. We are working on a format. And it's dependent on how much John Kerry will participate in this process. If he spends two hours with us or two minutes, will dictate part of how this program will develop. But as far as newsworthy itself, and that was your question, is this deals with Vietnam POWs, including, in this case, two Medal of Honor winners who suffered horrific abuse and unspeakable tortures over many, many years. And they are replying to some claims made by John Kerry. They, more than anyone else in America, have earned the right to have their voices heard. And so far, the news gate keepers have denied them this opportunity. The notion of shuffling it off to political advertisements is exactly the sort of thing that broadcast television, at the network and local level, have received a lot of criticism for over the last decade or two, for ignoring legitimate news stories, and instead, hoping to sell advertising to people who want to push candidates or referendums or political questions."
Brown: "Your stations run the Swift Boat ads, don't they?"
Hyman: "That's immaterial to the process. As far as a news organization is concerned, if we look at a story and say, 'Well, here's a news story, but if we can make money off of it by selling it, we'll skip doing the news story itself,' that's what organizations like Alliance for the Better Campaigns has leveled at broadcasters saying they're not doing enough, they're not airing political debate, they're not discussing political stories, they're not talking about market officials."
Brown: "With due respect, in no sense, then, you would, you would ask us to believe that in no sense is the decision to air some, all, of this, political on the part of Sinclair?"
Hyman: "Why would you say that? Because there's a story, some element of the story is not favorable? The same example would be if there was a car bomb that took place in Iraq today, should I say, well, I can't report that because that would reflect poorly on the President? Absolutely not. If there's a car bomb, if there are bad unemployment figures, we're going to report those just like we report all news. This is newsworthy. The documentary was produced over a month ago. The broadcast networks all turned their nose up at it, according to the film maker, said we will not talk to you on this topic unless the John Kerry campaign signs off on it and tells us it's okay to talk to you. If that, in fact, is correct, that is what should be investigated. That's what should be looked at."
Brown: "Well, we could look at all of that, too. But you don't know that first-hand, correct?"
Hyman: "No, I don't."
Hyman: "All I know is that we have spent a few weeks checking out the stories of these POWs, verifying they, in fact, served, they were prisoners of war. They came back. They have a story they want to tell. I think they, more than anyone else who ever served in Vietnam, have a right to be heard. I think the fact that there are organizations who dismiss them and act as if they don't exist, certainly ought to take a better look at themselves and their standards and how they report news."
After an ad break, Brown spent five minutes with Hundt and Kalb fussing over the situation.
For a full list of Sinclair's 62 stations: http://www.sbgi.net/business/markets/all.shtml
On June 2, Tom Brokaw devoted over a minute of NBC Nightly News to promoting Moore's Bush-bashing movie, even running a portion of the movie trailer, the kind of promotional advertising normally reserved for paid spots, movie theater "coming attractions" and movie previews on entertainment shows. NBC Nightly News, in fact, gave Moore's screed more than three times more air time Wednesday night than did Paramount's syndicated Entertainment Tonight (18 seconds) and four times more time than did NBC's own syndicated entertainment news show, Access Hollywood (14 seconds). Brokaw at least characterized Moore as a "liberal activist," but he described Moore's production simply as "an award-winning film about President Bush and his team." See: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040603.asp#1
On Memorial Day, weeks after the swift boat veterans came forward, NewsNight carried a four-minute info-mercial for John Kerry narrated by Brown who simply recited Kerry's version of all his Vietnam heroics, without a word about contrary views or anything about vets angry at Kerry for betraying them when he testified to the Senate about atrocities -- the very subject of the Stolen Honor film that Sinclair wants to share.
Transcript of Brown's May 31 tribute to Kerry: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040602.asp#4
Dims and the Dim media don't like having their information blockade run.
They liked it when they could tell us how to think.
DUers have been e-mailing Sinclair's sponsors and one SYLVAN LEARNING CENTERS have pulled their ads. We have to fight them on this.
Wow, what a concept: The fact that people with brains do not believe that left-wing bias is really an attempt at fairness proves that it is media fairness. Only from a Dim...
Let's face it, the Dims are much more motivated this year than are Republicans. We are too content to masturbate over poll numbers and to let others do the heavy lifting. I'm really becoming worried about this election.
With respect to his question, "What makes this news?" It would be interesting to ask Brown about the MSM affinity for questions regarding W's National Guard record while ignoring Kerry's refusal to release any but a few selected pages of his own military records. Why is W's record "news" while Kerry's is not?
The election will be a squeaker. I think Bush will win but the Kerry campaign's lawyers are going to give Bush alot of trouble like the Gore campaign did. If Bush doesn't win by a big enough margin it will be 2000 all over again.
From the stolenhonor.com web site:
Sherwood took an unpaid leave of absence from the wvc3 Group in June 2004 in order to establish Red, White & Blue Productions, Inc., an independent film company which produced "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." The documentary received its initial funding entirely from Pennsylvania Veterans. Since the Stolen Honor website www.stolenhonor.com -- was activated in late August, just prior to the debut of the film, additional funds have been received from individuals and entities nationwide. No political campaign, candidate or political party have been involved in any way in the financing or production of Stolen Honor.
Freepers need to get involved by sending pro show statements to everybody they can.
The Democrats, the liberals and the MSM want desperately to suppress dissident political speech, at any cost. The pretense of fairness and nonpartisanship is gone; this is a cultural war, and freedom of speech and freedom in general is at stake.
Actually I e-mailed an encouragement e-mail to Sinclair yesterday. Freepers should do the same!
Isn't Dan Rather, Chris Mathews, and on and on, making "in-kind" contributions every time they open their mouths?
Terry "da hypocrite" McAuliffe is a real piece of work.
I can't find an email for any sylvan but a local one. Any suggestions?
Anyone watching Dayside on Foxnews?
The VP of Sinclaire was on and it looks like to me nothing will stop them from airing this movie
Does Aaron Brown include Candy Crowley's infomercial for Kerry that has run repeatedly on CNN. It includes some of Kerry's home videos and trumpets his courage during the war and after he got home as a leader of the VVAW. Cram it Aaron!
WooHoo!! Go Sinclair!! My new hero!!
Please open a station in my neighborhood. LOL
The "elitist media" want to SMEAR the President with LIES and when someone comes forward with the TRUTH about kerry, they scream FOUL.
kerry is the one who FIRST came out "claiming" to be a viet nam hero. These people simply want to put the FACTS before the American public. That is what the demoncrats and the "elitist media" do NOT want. The "elitist media" wants to TELL you what the FACTS are (according to them) and then TELL you WHAT you are suppose to THINK.
Many Ameicans get this BRAINWASHING version of the news and are NOT privy to the internet and to the REAL FACTS. Its the reason that the formere Prime WITCH, hillary, fought to regulate internet news.
Aaron Brown is a well known by most, I would think, commentator on CNN. I don't reformat stories from Media research, sorry.
boy, the democrat plantation has put all of its assets on the line.
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