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Sinclair Sucks!

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  • Sinclair Sucks!

    boycott now!

    [broken link]

    and now, the blog news...

    Friday, October 15, 2004
    Sinclair's Losing Sponsors

    WGME's plan to air a documentary critical of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry prompted three Maine companies Thursday to pull their advertising from the Portland TV station.

    Hannaford supermarkets, the Lee Auto Malls, and the law offices of Joe Bornstein withdrew their advertising indefinitely from WGME (Channel 13) over its plans to air "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" on Oct. 23.

    WGME's owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, has ordered its 62 TV stations in local markets across the country to air the film without commercials.


    But the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" was abolished in 1987 as part of deregulation in the TV industry. In the 1990s, further deregulation allowed companies to own large numbers of stations, giving them more power and influence over the airwaves.

    This has nothing to do with free speech, and everything to do with corrupting our government. Sinclair has a vested interest in keeping bush in power.

    Should Kerry win, it is expected that new regulations would force Sinclair to sell off some of their stations, and since they're already on rocky financial footing, more stringent regulations could potentially put them out of business.

    ...not that, that would be a bad thing.
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-09-2010, 03:46 AM.
    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

  • #2
    message from a person called "ME T."

    I love having comments here, because it gives instant feedback if I get something wrong or to overlook a point. A couple things that came up recently in the comments:

    First, it's been pointed out that I don't know anything about Minnesota politics, and that Jesse Ventura is -- as was pointed out on the blog of Brown University Democrats -- about as popular in the state as Bill Buckner in Boston. I had assumed Ventura would still have some of his capacity to reach the younger, infrequent voters who were responsible for his 1998 victory, but apparently I was wrong.

    And an interesting, very packed comment about Sinclair Broadcasting, from "fatbear":

    Sinclair is desperate, on the cusp of destruction (self-caused). They have constructed a classic over-leveraged multi-station group, with a debt/equity ratio over 7:1, and interest rates tied to (now rising) LIBOR and a EBIDTA/debt ratio. They either are allowed to own more stations and operate/own more duopolies, or they collapse under the weight - that's why the stock has gone down ~70%, and that's why they MUST have a Repub FCC. Running the show is a chip to be cashed in in that case; they can't survive if the Dems win, so any Dem FCC threat is akin to "multiple life sentences to be served consecutively."
    The basic finances reported here are accurate, although I don't know enough about the industry to know whether owning more stations would save the company or not. Assuming this is generally correct, this is a good example of the kind of company that the Bush administration tends to like: not brilliant entrepreneurs, but rent-seekers, people skilled at manipulating the regulations of highly-regulated or government-dependent industries. The real entrepreneurs of the New Economy, those who can make a business work whether the FCC is rigging the game in their favor or not, are neither the beneficiaries nor the prominent backers of the Bush-DeLay machine.

    An interesting sidenote to this, which I learned only recently: the FCC is a weirdly constructed agency. Commissioners have terms that run out at the end of a congressional session, after which they continue to serve until the president replaces them, and the chair serves at the pleasure of the president, although his or her membership on the commission is subject to Senate confirmation. Anyway, what that means is that sometimes it takes a president a long time to get control of the FCC -- it took Clinton almost a year and a half to get a working majority -- but other times it can be done almost instantly. Apparently enough commissioners' terms have expired that Kerry, if he makes decisions quickly, could have his own chair and a working majority on the FCC in place very quickly. That's a very lucky turn of events. And I know that these are issues that Kerry knows pretty well, so those "multiple life sentences" for Sinclair could come pretty quickly -- not because of revenge for the Swift Boat show, but simply by forcing them to abide by the existing public-interest regulations on ownership and cross-ownership.

    Posted by Mark Schmitt on October 15, 2004
    \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
    Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


    • #3
      The set up is not so strange if you think about it - although it does provide a weird stranglehold on the media to the president if he wants it. The president as the executive is in the position of enforcing the laws created by congress and ruled upon by the judiciary. So of course the executive has the right to select his own group of enforcers.

      I never looked into it much, but it is interesting. Perhaps the process should be changed to reflect a more bi-partisan, or hopefully simply neutral, agenda.


      • #4
        I think John Stewart on Crossfire was good stuff...

        He called them "partisan hacks" and called Tucker Carlson a "dick."
        \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
        Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview


        • #5
          He was more than brilliant. Not only are they hacks, but they are little more than a theatrical distraction. Stewart wisely noted how the one commentator dressed for the show - and seriously, a man of his years just wouldn't dress that way. The guy is like a theater performer in costume.

          Maybe that's why I prefer text media, in print and online. Less theater, hopefully more substance.

          It was Stewart's most serious 10-15 minutes on TV ever...he was relentless.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jerico
            I think John Stewart on Crossfire was good stuff...
            So good, in fact, that Channel 4 News (one of the most respected news shows on British TV) has just devoted a five minute segment to clips of his appearance on that show, and his own Comedy Central show. The gist of the report was that a significant number of young Americans are now choosing comedy and satire over straight news broadcasting... presumbaly because "they" are tired of the theatre.

            I thought that the photo Foozle posted was a joke until I actually saw the chap on screen. That's really very odd.
            "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild


            • #7
              I'm not wrong am I? He dresses like a person from another time and place - maybe circa the 1920s in England. I think he has a kind of "Brideshead Revisited" sort of look to him. That's all before my time, so I am not the fashion expert there.

              Are we agreed the man is wearing a costume and nothing he would actually wear on the street?


              • #8
                Yeah. If I recall correctly, the first time I ever saw him on Sunday morning tv, I thought "What the fuck is that guy?!!?"
                \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview