Timothy Karr: 'Sinclair's Nightline snub'
Posted on Saturday, May 01 @ 09:23:52 EDT By Timothy Karr, AlterNet

Sinclair Broadcast Group on Thursday ordered its eight ABC affiliates to pre-empt Friday's "Nightline" broadcast of the reading of the names of US military personnel killed in Iraq, saying the program is "motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq."

The political leanings of Sinclair executives also may have played a part in the company's decision to block the popular ABC news program. In 2004, Sinclair executives gave 98 percent of their political contributions to GOP candidates.

In a fax to press Thursday, the Baltimore-based media company, whose holdings include 62 local TV stations, said that by airing Friday's Nightline program, "ABC is disguising political statements as news content."

During the ABC News broadcast, anchorman Ted Koppel will read aloud the names of more than 500 U.S. service men or women who have lost their lives in the war, as a corresponding photo appears on the screen along with that person's name, military branch, rank and age. In an emailed statement, ABC News "respectfully disagreed" with Sinclair's view of the program saying that Nightline "is dedicated to thoughtful and balanced coverage and reports on the events shaping our world with neither fear nor favor as our audience expects, deserves, and rightly demands."

If the Sinclair Broadcasting Group's track record of political contributions is any indication, executives at the company may have their own "political agenda." According to The Center for Responsive Politics, an organization devoted to tracking political contributions by individuals, PACs and corporations, Sinclair executives give overwhelmingly to Republican causes and candidates. Of the top twenty TV and Radio companies to make political contributions in 2004, Sinclair Broadcasting Group is among the most conservative, giving 98 percent of its $65,434 in political contributions to GOP candidates.

By comparison, Clear Channel Communications, the conservative radio colossus run by longtime Bush cronies Tom and Steve Hicks, has given only 75 percent of its 2004 contributions to Republicans; Democratic candidates have received the remaining 25 percent.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sinclair CEO and President David Smith personally gave $2,000, the maximum individual contribution, to President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. Smith has yet to reply to MediaChannel's request for comment on his company's political leanings.

John Dunbar of the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity said, "I fell out of my chair when I read Sinclair's statement." Dunbar, whose organization monitors and reports upon the influence of money over politics, considers Koppel's reporting to be politically moderate. "Based on what Sinclair did, it's impossible not to see where their political interests lie," he said.

The broadcasting giant reported first quarter preliminary results for net broadcast revenues reached $158.3 million. The Q1 increase over last year about $4 million more than the company expected came in part from $1.3 million in additional political advertising revenues in key election states such as Ohio, Florida, West Virginia, Illinois and Maine, where Sinclair owns stations.

Timothy Karr is Executive Director of MediaChannel.org.

Reprinted from AlterNet:    http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18564 

http://www.smirkingchimp.com comments

Re: Timothy Karr: 'Sinclair's Nightline snub' (Score: 1)
by 111aaaaardvark on Saturday, May 01 @ 10:25:57 EDT

Yesterday, a well-informed chimpster posted a 1996 Baltimore Sun story about Sinclair. He had managed to get himself busted for a sex crime - soliciting sex for money - and the incident was apparently fairly well publicised at the time. Well - that time, he got caught with his pants down. This time, he whipped out his right-wing limp noodle and flopped it around for all to see. Guess he can't get any at home. Easy to understand why.

If there's a psychoanalyst, traditionally-trained psychiatrist, or psychologist anywhere in our smirkless midst, I'd like to see a thoroughgoing, no-punches-pulled analysis of hypocritical, dickless, fake-balls, homophobic killers like Bush and all their evil crones. I could make a pretty good attempt, but when you're talking about ElmerGantry-Saddam hybrids, you're getting into deep doodoo.

by dogen on Saturday, May 01 @ 12:19:16 EDT

Recognizing and honoring the fallen soldiers is now considered something too partisan to do? This is psychotic.

by yellowdawg on Saturday, May 01 @ 13:00:58 EDT

I listen to these rightwing media types with absolute dismay about what they could be thinking. Then, of course, it all becomes clear. It's all about the money. It has to be because I refuse to believe that this many people can be either that stupid or that uncaring, callous and bigoted. Well I hope they enjoy the money while they can, because when the worm turns these guys are going to get slimed.

by gonzoid (freepthis@hotmail.com) on Saturday, May 01 @ 19:17:45 EDT
(User Info)
The Q1 increase over last year about $4 million more than the company expected came in part from $1.3 million in additional political advertising revenues in key election states such as Ohio, Florida, West Virginia, Illinois and Maine, where Sinclair owns stations.

What more needs to be said... They are 'bought and paid for'... A typical trait of true republicans...

[ Reply ]

Re: Timothy Karr: 'Sinclair's Nightline snub' (Score: 1)
by Anonymous on Saturday, May 01 @ 21:47:19 EDT
Garzoid sez....

There is a word which describes men like Sinclair...


Re: Timothy Karr: 'Sinclair's Nightline snub' (Score: 1)
by yellowdawg on Monday, May 03 @ 15:14:10 EDT
(User Info)
Can't wait for one of these wingnut broadcasters - or maybe they already have - to start the drumbeat against Public Broadcasting's support and airing of the Newshour that shows 'as they are made available' names and pictures of the dead in Iraq/Iran. It'll also be interesting to see if their sponsor - I think it's SBC currently - receives pressure over this. One thing for an obvious bushco company, e.g., Sinclair, to suckup...another to see if PBS, an independent broadcast production company and/or their sponsor gets heat.

Re: Timothy Karr: 'Sinclair's Nightline snub' (Score: 1)
by tbmmoe on Monday, May 03 @ 15:32:50 EDT
(User Info)
What's this all about?! Everyone knows that it's the 'liberal' media's fault. This must be some kind of commie conspiracy! I'll just go listen to Rush, and see if I can't get some truth here.