Saturday, October 23, 2004

ELECTION EVE EQUAL TIME

On Friday, 10/29, IFC will air Fahrenheit 9/11: A Movement In Time - a documentary about the making of F 9/11 and the reaction it has garnered.

And in a BIG coup, on election eve - Monday 11/1 - IFC will air A Soldiers Pay, a documentary by David O Russell.

Russell made Soldiers Pay for the dvd re-release of his movie 3 Kings. It's a documentary that follows up 3 Kings by looking at soldiers in this Iraq war and specifically one soldier accused of stealing $700,000,000 of Saddam's fortune.

It shows real soldiers talking about what is REALLY going on in Iraq. It will be shown in tandem all night with a great doc about the Clinton Campaign - The War Room.

While IFC is cool about airing them, they will not spend much to market them. Some folks at IFC put themselves on the line in getting these films to air. It would be a shame if the effort was wasted.

Can I ask you to help spread the word?

Here's the schedule:

Friday 10/29 10pm e/p
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: A MOVEMENT IN TIME

Monday 11/1 (all times eastern):
8p THE WAR ROOM
9:35 A SOLDIER'S PAY
10:15 THE WAR ROOM
12a A SOLDIER'S PAY
12:35 THE WAR ROOM
1:15 A SOLDIER'S PAY

Anything you can do would be enormously appreciated.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

SINCLAIR PLAYS POSSUM

From a dKos Diary (by MeanBoneII):

A Sinclair employee sent the guy at www.boycottsbg.com a very interesting e-mail. The employee says that Sinclair may use this weekend to play the new "documentary" several times. He agrees that the last press release was just a ploy.

"There is no reason to believe that they have come to their senses. They said what everyone wanted to hear, and now they are going to do what they wanted to do in the first place."

The Sinclair employees have stock in the company in their 401(k) plans. They know the reckless actions of the right-wing nutjob executives are hurting them, and they want action taken before it's too late.

The whole letter is posted at www.boycottsbg.com. The Sinclair employees are pissed, and the letter urges the boycott to intensify.

t

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sinclair Broadcasting has long history of dubious journalistic, corporate ventures.

On Friday October 22nd at 12pm the new campaign StopSinclair will deliver a 150,000-member petition to the FCC Headquarters to halt Sinclair's $9,900,000 illegal in-kind contribution to the Bush campaign.

They need your help to make this a strong and meaningful message to Sinclair, the FCC, and the public. They will also be filing a complaint against Sinclair with the FCC and announcing a $120,000 (perhaps much larger) ad buy targeting Sinclair and George Bush.

Join us at the FCC - THIS Friday 12pm. We have had an incredible ten days -- gaining tremendous support nationwide. We could use your help to capitalize on this momentum.
Please e-mail your lists, help make signs, brainstorm new approaches, and join us! We look forward to rallying with you on Friday.

For information about Friday's rally, go to Stop Sinclair.

t

General Mills

To Whom It May Concern:

While I appreciate the fact that a response was composed and a reply was sent, I cannot find a scintilla of redemptive value in the choice of General Mills to support the kind of partisan pabulum Sinclair Broadcasting represents.

The simplistic statement used in your response, "We choose to stand with the freedom of the press," is a transparent excuse for the choice to continue to spend large sums of money supporting a partisan advertising campaign disguised as news. While I hold dear the rights and privileges afforded Americans by the First Amendment, I also value Section 315 of the Federal Communications Act, which states that broadcasters selling or giving time to a federal candidate must provide equal time to the candidate's campaign opponents. Complaints have already been filed with the F.C.C. asking for equal time for other candidates and, not coincidentally, Sinclair's stock price has fallen by almost 17 percent and its market capitalization drop by $140 million in the last week and a half. What this means for companies allied with Sinclair, I can only guess.

Please note that, while I am not registered with a political party and, in fact, serve as a volunteer for a number of non-partisan organizations, I am appalled at what amounts to General Mills' support of a last ditch effort to give the Republican Party a let-up just days before the Presidential Election.

Until such time as General Mills makes some effort to correct this egregious decision, myself and hundreds of thousands of other consumers will take note. From Cheerios to Old El Paso products, from Pop Secret to 8th Continent, consumers will voice their concerns at check stands nationwide.

Sincerely,

Rebecca Harris
Azusa, California

Official Rumor Start

Soldiers Pay + F 9/11 = Equal Time

Rumor has it that IFC (indie film channel) will air Soldiers Pay next Friday night. It's the film David O Russell (3 Kings, Spanking the Monkey, Flirting with Disaster) made for the 3 Kings DVD - until Warner Bros caved to pressure from the FEC and yanked the project.

Frank Rich wrote about the film in this past Sunday's NY Times.

Frank Rich & the new "All the President's Men"


Seems IFC may also planning to run a F 9/11 Making of Special that was originally intended for the pay per view event that was cancelled.


Halloween weekend could be spooky.

t

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

SINCLAIR BACKTRACKS

Three stories from today's wire, all showing that our attention to this issue is having a distinct effect:

#1 - SINCLAIR INVESTIGATED FOR INSIDER TRADING!

Apparently there may be more to this controversy than meets the eye. By announcing and airing the "news special", Sinclair Executives have also driven down the Sinclair stock price - and that may have been their plan all along.

Officers Who Ordered Stations to Show Anti-Kerry Film Also Sold Stocks at High Mark, then Drove Values Down

Developing...



#2 - Backpedal and Flip Flop

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced today that on Friday, October 22, 2004 at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. central time) certain television stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. will air a special one-hour news program, entitled "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media." In order to minimize the interruption of normally scheduled programming in those markets where Sinclair owns and/or programs more than one television station, the news special will be broadcast on only one of those stations.

Sinclair Backtracks

For a complete list of stations that WILL broadcast the "special", look in the first COMMENT.



#3 - The Emperor has no Morals

SINCLAIR FIRES DISSENTERS

For those of you who missed Paula Zahn's CNN show last night, Zahn spoke with Sinclair Broadcasting's Washington Bureau Chief, Jonathan Leiberman, who had been fired by Sinclair.

Zahn asked Lieberman what reason he was given by Sinclair for being fired and he answered thusly:

"Today, I was fired because I spoke to a newspaper here in Baltimore this morning about my concerns about labeling this special as a "news" special. I agree that Sinclair, under the First Amendment, has the right to air part or all of this documentary, but my argument has been - call it commentary, call it editorial, call it programming, but don't call it news.

Yesterday, we were called into a mandatory staff meeting and told that the news department would be handling an hour-long special dealing with this documentary, and we were basically told we had no choice but to participate. I stood up and said, I'm not comfortable with this. I think my credibility is at issue. I think the viewers aren't going to trust us if we call this news.


And today, I was fired because I spoke to the newspaper about what I said at that meeting and the concerns that I have over the issue."

Zahn then read the following statement from Sinclair Broadcasting Group VP, Mark Hyman:

"Everyone is entitled to their personal opinion, including Jon Leiberman. We are disappointed that Jon's political views caused him to violate policy and speak to the press about company business."

Yet Sinclair allows Hyman to let his views be known in this way:

"The networks are acting like Holocaust deniers and pretending [the POWs] don't exist. It would be irresponsible to ignore them."

Hyman and the Holocaust

Both men spoke their minds. Sinclair had no repercussions for Hyman, but Leiberman loses his job. Hey Republicans out there - how does this world work again?

t


Monday, October 18, 2004

BREAKING - MUTINY ON THE SINCLAIR BOUNTY

“It’s biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election.

For me, it’s not about right or left – it’s about what’s right or wrong in news coverage this close to an election.”

- Jon Leiberman, Sinclair’s lead political reporter at their Washington DC station.

Leiberman said he told Sinclair’s vice president for news, Joseph DeFeo, that he would not contribute to the program and that DeFeo suggested the reporter could lose his job.

http://rawstory.bluelemur.com/index.php?p=73


UPDATE:

Jon Leiberman was fired this evening by Sinclair. He is on CNN right now.

t


Saturday, October 16, 2004

TIME FOR EQUAL TIME

Demand Equal Time. It's up to us, because the Conservative Media Machine is in full swing.

Doubt it?

SINCLAIR +
TRIBUNE +
PBS +
CLEAR CHANNEL +
FOX (FOX NEWS x FOX TV x DIRECT TV) +
GE (NBC x MSNBC x CNBC) +
GANNET (USA Today x Gallup) +
TIME WARNER (CNN + HLN) +
DISNEY (ABC)
---------------------------------------------
= RNC TV

The major media companies are all on the take from the RNC - having received deregulation as a gift from Powell's FCC, they take their cues from the White House Communications Department only slightly less than our chief nemesis, Sinclair. GE, for example, is one of America's largest defense contractors. Two of three PBS' controlling Board members are Republican fundraisers who worked for Newt Gingrich. The litany of woe goes on and on...

Take heart, though. Between now and Election Day, there will be ample opportunity for us all to steer friends and family towards real news. In Sunday's NY Times, there are two amazing MUST-READS:

Ron Suskind shows that George W. Bush thinks he’s the Messiah
Messiah Bush

"When I was first with Bush in Austin, I saw a self-help Methodist, very open, seeking. What I see at this point is a messianic American Calvinist. He doesn't want to hear from anyone who doubts him."

[Jim Wallis, author of "Faith Works"]


Frank Rich pleads with his fellow journalists to find some balls and finally report the news.
Where are the President's Men?

"Every day, you read articles in the States where its like 'it's getting better and better'. But when you're here, you know it's worse every day".

[Lance Cpl. Jon Snyder]

"We're basically proving that the government is wrong. We're catching them in a lie".
[Lance Cpl. Alexander Jones]


On Monday, October 18, The Sundance Channel will air a great documentary, 'With God on Our Side: George W. Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right'. It airs at 7pm eastern time with many repeats this week.
Sundance 10/18


Look to this space for more Equal Time listings.

t

Thursday, October 14, 2004

DEMAND EQUAL TIME

I believe it's time to turn the focus from boycott to Equal Time.

The Sinclair "news piece" will run, period. Let's get out there at Monday's protests and give the media OUR view.

- The Liberal Media is a Myth.

- Sinclair is a mouthpiece for the Bush Administration.

- The "mainstream media" needs to do their job and give America the truth!

- When will other newsworthy docs be aired commercially free?

- Watch UNCOVERED: THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT IRAQ will be aired:

10/27 @ 10pm on Sundance!

This is our opportunity to spread the word about the failure of the mainstream media, and to put the truth about this administration in front of the people. We should focus the Sinclair Buzz away from the anti-Kerry doc and ONTO the plethora of anti-Bush films, and then challenege the media to run those AS EQUAL TIME!

The Swifboat ads garnered far more air time than was paid for, simply from play on news programs. The more we talk about the anti-Bush docs the more play they are likely to get.

Write your local editors, news station GM's and local papers, and demand Equal Time! Give them a list of films that could JUST AS EASILY qualify as "news".

Greenwald Films, for example!

The anti-Bush material is MUCH deeper than just Moore's film. MUCH!

GET TO WORK. WE HELPED MAKE THIS STORY

NOW WE NEED TO MAKE IT WORK FOR US!

EQUAL TIME

NEW YORK, OCT 13/PRNewswire:

Sundance Channel to Premiere eye-opening doc

'With God on Our Side:
George W. Bush and the Rise of the Religious Right'
October 18th @ 7:00pm ET/PT.
Repeat airings:
October 19th @ 1:00pm;
October 24th @ 3:00pm;
October 28th @ 12:30am and 7:00pm.

UPDATE:

While many homes do not get the Sundance Channel, most bars have Direct TV and therefore get Sundance.

Please check your cable line-up, and then perhaps call a bar in your area to organize a viewing party.

From a guest blogger Comment:

BOYCOTT SINCLAIR - A 3-STEP PLAN

See the plan up close @:
http://www.angelfire.com/blog2/boycottsinclair/index.htmlStep

Step 1: Protest - Show up at your local Sinclair station on Monday, 10/18/2004 at 6:00pm, per trooth's great site! If you can't, call them all day long.

Step 2: Sick-out - Call your local news, sports, or weather celeb and urge them to call in sick on 10/22/2004 to protest Sinclair's illegal action.

Step 3: Disinvest - During the week of 10/18/2004, check out your 401(k). You probably have a fund there that is an investor in Sinclair. Sell it and buy something else, if you can. Check the website for the list of funds.

Thanks for the great stuff!


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

EQUAL TIME MAY BE AT HAND...

We are working closely with a national network to get a great doc, by a well-known director, about the real iraq war aired the night before the election.

We are getting close.

Developing...

GREAT NEW SINCLAIR CENTRAL SITE

Kos has created an amazing Sinclair Resource Center.

It's full of great information and usefull tools.

The question still remains - would equal time serve our needs? I say yes - getting a free airing of Fahrenheit 9/11 or Going Upriver would serve the cause far more than simply pulling down the anti-Kerry film.

Thoughts?



Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Pro-Kerry Filmmaker Offers Equal Time Solution

From Today's Salon.com...

The filmmaker behind the new pro-John Kerry documentary plans to offer it to Sinclair Broadcasting-- free of charge -- to see if the company is interested in showing its viewers a balanced presentation of the candidate. The challenge comes in the wake of Sinclair's extraordinary decision to force its 62 stations nationwide, just days before the presidential election, to air "Stolen Honor," which attacks Kerry's anti-war activities from the early 1970s, and which the Kerry campaign has labeled a smear film.

"Sinclair's using public airwaves to broadcast, at a politically sensitive time, an anti-Kerry message," says Paul Alexander, director of the critically-acclaimed "Brothers in Arms" film, which examines Kerry's experience in Vietnam, and casts him in a favorable light. "My argument is if they're going to air 'Stolen Honor' then they should run my film, and preferably in the hour right after it. I'm sending them a letter tomorrow demanding that." Earlier this week as the controversy brewed, a Sinclair spokesman told the New York Times the company would consider running a Kerry documentary from a different perspective. Alexander's offer may effectively, and publicly, call Sinclair's bluff.

"If they're going to air an anti-Kerry documentary, it's my opinion that under the equal time rule they're required to air the same amount of time" showing the other side, he adds, referring to the broadcast regulation that forbids stations from giving significant airtime to one candidate but not his or her opponent. The filmmaker says several television outlets have approached him about airing his film, "Brothers in Arms," but backed away when faced with the equal time restraint, which might force them to air a film about Bush. "But suddenly on the other side it's okay," to ignore the obligation for balance, asks Alexander.

Executives at conservative Sinclair, who made headlines last spring when they ordered their eight ABC stations not to run "Nightline" when the news show read the names of the fallen U.S. soldiers in Iraq, claim "Stolen Honor" is a news program and therefore does not fall under any equal time requirement. Alexander, noting "Stolen Honor" is widely available in DVD form to anyone who wants to purchase it, insists the film does not constitute news. He says he's also willing to offer his movie for free and to cut it down to match the exact the time length of "Stolen Honor." "I'll do whatever it takes," he says. Adding, "If they don't air it, then their intention with "Stolen Honor" is clear; it's a political move to assassinate the character of John Kerry."

PROTEST @ LOCAL SINCLAIR STATIONS

PICKET SINCLAIR STATIONS MONDAY, 10/18, @ 6PM!!!

Picket lines @ Sinclair stations could really effect their ability to do business and placate advertisers.

The Sinclair station list - complete with addresses - is at
Sinclair Station List.

If we can organize a Flash Mob type of action - large groups of protesters showing up at exactly 6pm local time (the time of their local news broadcast, where they derive 60% of their local revenue), it would make local and national news.

I suggest targeting this Monday, October 18 as a protest date. It gives us the entire weekend to organize, and Monday is a great news day. It's also four days before the scheduled broadcast of their "news story" against Kerry.

Please comment below on if you would be available for this effort, and then - SPREAD THE WORD, FAR AND WIDE.

WE CAN USE THIS ISSUE TO DEBUNK THE MYTH OF "THE LIBERAL MEDIA", ONCE AND FOR ALL.

Monday, October 11, 2004

STOP SINCLAIR

The people behind Run Against Bush have a petition to stop Sincair.

It's at StopSinclair.org

Today, Sinclair's stock price fell by nearly 2%. Bloggers have been calling and emailing their major investors, pressuring them to sell or in turn pressure Sinclair.

Sinclair's Top institutional investors:

Earnest Partners
SHARES HELD: 4,946,278

Gabelli Asset Management Co (gamco)
SHARES HELD: 3,640,000

Westfield Capital Management Co
SHARES HELD: 2,616,950

Morgan Stanley Investment Management
SHARES HELD: 2,526,303

Neuberger Berman
SHARES HELD: 2,266,809

Putnam Investment Mgmt
SHARES HELD: 2,081,861

Barclays Global Investors Intl
SHARES HELD: 1,801,161

Blackrock Inc
SHARES HELD: 1,428,435

Janus Capital Corp
SHARES HELD: 1,417,887

REACH OUT! DO MORE!! KEEP IT UP!!


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Equal Time Thread

It's not the law, but...

Boycott Sinclair has picked up a wee bit of steam. Great.

What do we do if this gets anywhere on Monday, when the Sinclair people get back to their desks? I have to say, I'm leaning towards asking for equal time. Sinclair shows "Going Upriver" or Fahrenheit 9/11 or "Outfoxed", and the calls and emails stop.

Many reasonable people have warned against acting like the zealots on the right who forced Viacom to yank "The Reagans". Do they have a point?

Since Reagan nixed it, Equal Time is no longer the law. But it is FAIR.

Thoughts?

Boycott Sinclair



NEW YORK -- The conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose television outlets reach nearly a quarter of the nation's homes with TV, is ordering its stations to preempt regular programming just days before the Nov. 2 election to air a film that attacks Sen. John F. Kerry's activism against the Vietnam War, network and station executives familiar with the plan said Friday.

[LA Times, 10/9/04]

When CBS tried to air "The Reagans" on their network, conservatives across the country threatened to boycott CBS advertisers if the movie ran. CBS caved and yanked the film.

When Michael Moore tried to place advertising for the F-9/11 dvd, CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox refused to take the ads. Those networks are represented among Sinclair's affiliates.

When "Nightline" aired the names and information of all US soldiers who have been killed in Iraq, Sinclair pulled "Nightline" off their affiliates for the night.

Airing a blatantly partisan film that attacks a specific candidate, as scheduled content, over PUBLIC AIRWAYS is against FCC regulations and FEC election law.

Electioneering Restrictions and Disclosure Under The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), state: "funds from corporations (whether nonprofit or for-profit entities) and unions may not be used to pay for 'electioneering communications', which are broadcast, cable, or satellite communications that:

- refer to a clearly identified Federal candidate;

- are broadcast within 60 days before the general election of the candidate or within 30 days before the party primary, convention, or caucus that nominates the candidate;

- are targeted to the "relevant electorate," i.e., over 50,000 persons in the State or district that the candidate seeks to represent.

Exemptions are provided for news stories, commentaries, editorials, and candidate debates and forums. BCRA gives the FEC authority to make additional exemptions, so long as they do not promote, support, attack, or oppose a Federal candidate."

Please let Sinclair Broadcasting know that they are operating outside of the law, and that you will boycott any advertiser who supports their efforts.

Or contact the Sinclair station near you. Go to the Sinclair Station List to find the station in your area!

Also - CONTACT YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE! The airwaves that Sinclair uses are the property of the American people. Your representative in Washington (who is now running for reelection) owes it to YOU to manage those airwaves responsibly. Call them up and make them do their job. Plus, this is a great issue for a local democrat who needs a campaign jolt. Just think of the photo op! Also, contact John McCain - he went after Sinclair when they refused to air the Nightline broadcast. Or you can reach out to Michael Powell, FCC Chairman.

- Find your Representative here: House Reps.
- Contact John McCain: McCain
- FCC Chairman Powell: FCC Powell

The mainstream media has ceded their responsibility for responsible journalism in this election. It's up to us - average people - to hold their feet to the fire.

The original information about this story, came from bloggers at The Daily Kos - an amazing community of passionate people who are keeping the media honest in this election. JillR - an intrepid Daily Kos member - broke this story. We owe it to her and all of the real people in this country to make sure Sinclair does NOT illegally sway this election.

Thanks.