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Anti-Kerry film to air in prime-time

Old 10-11-04, 01:21 PM
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Anti-Kerry film to air in prime-time

Anti-Kerry film to air in prime-time

Nation's largest TV chain orders all 62 stations to show movie without commercials next week.
October 11, 2004: 12:40 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of the largest chain of television stations in the nation, plans to air a documentary that accuses Sen. John Kerry of betraying American prisoners during the Vietnam War, a newspaper reported Monday.

The network has ordered all 62 of its stations to air "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" without commercials in prime-time next week, the Washington Post said, just two weeks before the Nov. 2 election.

Sinclair's television group, which includes affiliates of all the major networks, reaches nearly a quarter of all U.S. television households, according to the company's Web site. But the affiliates owned by the major television networks reach a larger percentage of U.S. homes because they are in the largest markets.

A dozen of Sinclair's stations are in the critical swing states of Ohio, Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin.

The company made news in April when it ordered seven of its ABC-affiliated stations not to air a "Nightline" segment that featured a reading of the names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq; a Sinclair executive called that broadcast "contrary to the public interest."

Calls to Sinclair by CNN/Money were not immediately returned Monday.

Media Matters for America, a liberal watchdog group, has written a letter to Sinclair asking the company to cancel reported plans to air the film between now and the Nov. 2 election, the group said in a statement.

"Sinclair's plan to air anti-Kerry propaganda before the election is an abuse of the public airwaves for what appears to be partisan political purposes," Media Matters CEO David Brock said in the letter.

The letter warned Sinclair that its plan could constitute a violation of broadcast regulations requiring equal time for political candidates, as well as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, the group said.

Sinclair's top executives include members of the controlling Smith family, who have been strong financial supporters of Bush's campaign, the Post said in its report.

Sinclair executives have given nearly $68,000 in political contributions, 97 percent of it going to Republicans, since the beginning of the year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the report, "Stolen Honor" focuses on Kerry's antiwar testimony to Congress in 1971 and its effect on American POWs in Vietnam, and was produced independently of Sinclair.

The anti-Kerry film states that the senator's testimony hurt the American war effort and undercut morale among the troops.

Sinclair (SBGI: down $0.05 to $7.45, Research, Estimates) shares were little changed on Nasdaq Monday.


Funny huh
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Old 10-11-04, 01:24 PM
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Wouldn't this violate FCC regs regarding equal time? In other words, if they show this shouldn't they also have to show, say, Farenheit 9/11 or something along those lines, as well?
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Old 10-11-04, 01:25 PM
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there are talks of f911 being shown on tv before election day, i wonder if media matters will oppose that too
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Old 10-11-04, 01:26 PM
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PS - I doubt Kerry's comments were the only thing that lowered morale, etc. during the Vietnam War. As I recall, most people under 30 and lots over thought it was a crap war.
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Old 10-11-04, 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by shaun3000
Wouldn't this violate FCC regs regarding equal time? In other words, if they show this shouldn't they also have to show, say, Farenheit 9/11 or something along those lines, as well?
Actually, Moore was already working on that. I think PPV or something. Seems the anti-Kerry film was the equal time portion.
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Old 10-11-04, 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by Venusian
there are talks of f911 being shown on tv before election day, i wonder if media matters will oppose that too
If it was required to be broadcast in prime time and didn't give equal time to Bush, I'd oppose it, even though I'm voting for Kerry. It's not ethical and probably not legal to do that.
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Old 10-11-04, 01:28 PM
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Cable TV isn't subject to equal time laws. Certainly not pay per view. It affects over-the-air broadcasts only as they are free and available to anyone with a TV. Cable TV, et al, is not.
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Old 10-11-04, 01:29 PM
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Originally posted by shaun3000
Wouldn't this violate FCC regs regarding equal time? In other words, if they show this shouldn't they also have to show, say, Farenheit 9/11 or something along those lines, as well?
I doubt it, since this isn't an advertisement -- it's a (purportedly) factual documentary account of Kerry's history. It wouldn't be subject to equal time laws any more than, for example, when Bill O'Reilly did an interview with President Bush, he wans't required to do an interview of equal length with Senator Kerry.

Spoiler:
Liberal media! Booga booga!
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Old 10-11-04, 01:30 PM
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Let's get real people. Unlike FH911, this is not a political film. It is a documentary about Kerry during the Vietnam era...it has nothing to do with the current election and issues of today (unlike Moore's film). That Sinclair is airing it before the election is purely coincidental.
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Old 10-11-04, 01:31 PM
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i say... if they let the move 9/11 show and it falls along the lines able to be shown.... then so be it....
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Old 10-11-04, 01:31 PM
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I thought equal time applied to anything about a candidate, even news programs to keep it from being skewed in one candidate's favor. Obviously opinions, etc, aren't included, but reporting on the good things one candidate does and the bad another does (or nothing at all) and not vice-versa isn't kosher, right?
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Old 10-11-04, 01:31 PM
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Good
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Old 10-11-04, 01:34 PM
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Excellent.
Unlike, 9/11 it won't have to lie to show bad things about Kerry.
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Old 10-11-04, 01:36 PM
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I withdraw my comments about the equal time rule -- it looks like this documentary should trigger it:

EQUAL TIME RULE

U.S. Broadcasting Regulatory Rule

It is the closest thing in broadcast content regulation to the "golden rule." The equal time, or more accurately, the equal opportunity provision of the Communications Act requires radio and television stations and cable systems which originate their own programming to treat legally qualified political candidates equally when it comes to selling or giving away air time. Simply put, a station which sells or gives one minute to Candidate A must sell or give the same amount of time with the same audience potential to all other candidates for the particular office. However, a candidate who can not afford time does not receive free time unless his or her opponent is also given free time. Thus, even with the equal time law, a well funded campaign has a significant advantage in terms of broadcast exposure for the candidate.

The equal opportunity requirement dates back to the first major broadcasting law in the United States, the Radio Act of 1927. Legislators were concerned that without mandated equal opportunity for candidates, some broadcasters might try to manipulate elections. As one congressman put it, "American politics will be largely at the mercy of those who operate these stations." When the Radio Act was superseded by the Communications Act of 1934, the equal time provision became Section 315 of the new statute.

A major amendment to Section 315 came in 1959 following a controversial Federal Communications Commission (FCC) interpretation of the equal time provision. Lar Daly, who had run for a variety of public offices, sometimes campaigning dressed as Uncle Sam, was running for mayor of Chicago. Daly demanded free air time from Chicago television stations in response to the stations' news coverage of incumbent mayor Richard Daley. Although the airtime given to Mayor Daley was not directly related to his re-election campaign, the FCC ruled that his appearance triggered the equal opportunity provision of Section 315. Broadcasters interpreted the FCC's decision as now requiring equal time for a candidate anytime another candidate appeared on the air, even if the appearance was not linked to the election campaign.

Congress reacted quickly by creating four exemptions to the equal opportunity law. Stations who gave time to candidates on regularly scheduled newscasts, news interviews shows, documentaries (assuming the candidate wasn't the primary focus of the documentary), or on-the-spot news events would not have to offer equal time to other candidates for that office. In creating these exemptions, Congress stressed that the public interest would be served by allowing stations the freedom to cover the activities of candidates without worrying that any story about a candidate, no matter how tangentially related to his or her candidacy, would require equal time. The exemptions to Section 315 have also served the interests of incumbent candidates, since by virtue of their incumbency they often generate more news coverage then their challengers.

Since 1959, the FCC has provided a number of interpretations to Section 315's exemptions. Presidential press conferences have been labeled on-the-spot news, even if the president uses his remarks to bolster his campaign. Since the 1970s, debates have also been considered on-the-spot news events and therefore exempt from the equal time law. This has enabled stations or other parties arranging the debates to choose which candidates to include in a debate. Before this ruling by the FCC, Congress voted to suspend Section 315 during the 1960 presidential campaign to allow Richard Nixon and John Kennedy to engage in a series of debates without the participation of third party candidates. The FCC has also labeled shows such as The Phil Donahue Show and Good Morning America news interview programs. However, appearances by candidates in shows which do not fit under the four exempt formats will trigger the equal opportunities provision, even if the appearance is irrelevant to the campaign. Therefore, during Ronald Reagan's political campaigns, if a station aired one of his films, it would have been required to offer equal time to Mr. Reagan's opponents.


Section 315 also prohibits a station from censoring what a candidate says when he or she appears on the air (unless it is in one of the exempt formats). Thus, a few years ago when a self-avowed segregationist was running for the governorship of Georgia, the FCC rejected citizen complaints over the candidate's use in his ads of derogatory language towards African-Americans. More recently, the FCC has also rejected attempts to censor candidate ads depicting aborted fetuses. However, the Commission has permitted stations to channel such ads to times of day when children are less likely to be in the audience.

The equal opportunity law does not demand that a station afford a state or local candidate any air time. However, under the public interest standard of the Communications Act, the FCC has said that stations should make time available for candidates for major state and local offices. With regard to federal candidates, broadcast stations have much less discretion. A 1971 amendment to the Communications Act requires stations make a reasonable amount of time available to federal candidates. Once time is made available under this provision, the equal time requirements of Section 315 apply.

The 1971 amendments also addressed the rates which stations can charge candidates for air time. Before 1971, Congress only required that the rates charged candidates be comparable to those offered to commercial advertisers. Now, Section 315 commands that as the election approaches, stations must offer candidates the rate it offers its most favored advertiser. Thus, if a station gives a discount to a commercial sponsor because it buys a great deal of air time, the station must offer the same discount to any candidate regardless of how much time he or she purchases.
http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/E/...qualtimeru.htm
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Old 10-11-04, 01:37 PM
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Originally posted by shaun3000
Cable TV isn't subject to equal time laws. Certainly not pay per view. It affects over-the-air broadcasts only as they are free and available to anyone with a TV. Cable TV, et al, is not.
The stations Sinclair owns, at least in my market, aren't cable. They own the ABC and Fox affiliates.
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Old 10-11-04, 01:52 PM
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Now look what Drudge is reporting!
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MON OCT 08, 2004 12:42:03 ET XXXXX

**Exclusive**

DRUDGE has obtained a transcript of a portion of the documentary "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." This documentary, which will be aired on television stations owned by the Sinclair Group, is critical of Democratic Presidential candidate John F. Kerry's actions protesting the war in Viet Nam.

The transcript follows:

XXXXX

THE SCENE DEPICTS A DANK CELL. AN AMERICAN G.I. IS TIED TO THE WALL. A SINISTER ORIENTAL WITH A FU MANCHU MOUSTACHE MENACE THE G.I.

VOICE OVER: During the Vietnam War, sinister Viet Cong tortured our G.I.s with the knowledge that these dedicated soldiers had been betrayed by a man they had come to trust. "Lieutenant" John Kerry.

ORIENTAL: Insolent capitalist swine! Why are you here in Viet Nam? Don't you know you worse than Genghis Khan? John Kerry say so!

G.I.: No!!!!! Not John Kerry! My will is broken. I will tell you all of the secrets of America, and teach you about our battle plans.

VOICE OVER: But what if John Kerry hadn't said those things?

ORIENTAL: You free to go. We have seen error of our ways, and now wish to live in democratic capitalist paradise.

G.I.: Thank God I've never heard of John Kerry.

A SCANTILY CLAD VIETNAMESE WOMAN ENTERS

WOMAN: Me so horny! Me love you long time! You pay for my sexual services in free market exchange.

JOHN KERRY ENTERS

KERRY: I would like to pay to have sex with you, although I normally prefer to have sex with goats and other livestock.

ORIENTAL: We could have won war, if only you had said bad things about G.I.s, John Kerry, and also if Texas not protected by such fierce National Guard.

XXXXX DEVELOPING XXXXX
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Old 10-11-04, 01:53 PM
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CBS

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Old 10-11-04, 01:57 PM
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Wah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-11-04, 01:58 PM
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KERRY: I would like to pay to have sex with you, although I normally prefer to have sex with goats and other livestock.
He's got my vote!
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Old 10-11-04, 02:04 PM
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Kerry......... although not f 9/11 but does know how to party
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Old 10-11-04, 02:04 PM
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And people wondered why consolidating into huge media conglomerates was a bad idea.
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Old 10-11-04, 02:47 PM
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So wait, John Kerry lost us the Vietnam War? Help me out, I need to know what to think here.
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Old 10-11-04, 03:02 PM
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I don't think any stations should be broadcasting anything (Movies, Shows, Parodies, etc) within 30 days of an election except for news - and they shouldn't do it because it isn't the right thing to do, not because there are laws governing it.
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Old 10-11-04, 03:14 PM
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I believe that they are claiming that it is "news" because it is a documentary and not fiction. Consider it a "Special Report".

The best part is that the Sinclair station here in Cedar Rapids is the CBS affiliate. You gotta love karma!
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Old 10-11-04, 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho
Let's get real people. Unlike FH911, this is not a political film. It is a documentary about Kerry during the Vietnam era...it has nothing to do with the current election and issues of today (unlike Moore's film). That Sinclair is airing it before the election is purely coincidental.
Was going to go off on a long rant until I noticed the poster. Good stuff Groucho.
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