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."

47 Comments:

At October 12, 2004 at 4:50 PM, Blogger jon said...

Paul Alexander -- THANK YOU!! Just what we needed: call the bastards' bluff, and watch them squirm their way out of it. The only problem is that you can't trust them to edit the hell out of anything they air, or show it at 3 AM, or somehow otherwise subvert the showing.

But thank you, Paul Alexander, for stepping into the breach and offering your intellectual property to further our cause.

 
At October 12, 2004 at 8:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you so afraid of & why didn't you feel the same way about Moore's slanted sleeze?

 
At October 12, 2004 at 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moore's F9/11 is something you pay to see in private theaters. Sinclair broadcasts over the airwaves, which are not private, but public, owned by everyone (including yourself) and watched over by the FCC to prevent this sort of distortion forcefully broadcast across the airwaves. I also suggest you look up the McCain-Feingold bill and what rules apply to 527 organizations, and why this effort by Sinclair fits into those rules with precision.

 
At October 12, 2004 at 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a suggstion. It would be very helpful if you would post daily on which advertisers have pulled their ads.

 
At October 13, 2004 at 12:37 AM, Blogger emicrystal said...

I wrote to Senator McCain and Sinclair Broadcasting suggesting fair and balanced coverage of Senator Kerry's service in Vietnam. I saw the documentary "Going Upriver" last weekend. It was excellent and it proved to me Kerry is a true leader and speaks out for truth. The movie can also be purchased on www.goingupriver.com.

Hopefully the advertisers will boycott Sinclair as they understand the language of money.

 
At October 13, 2004 at 4:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was it not just a few months ago that Sinclair took off the air a "NIGHTLINE" episode that was about the lives lost in Iraq.

"It is "Nightline's" failure to present the entire story, however, to which
Sinclair objects. "Nightline" is not reporting news; it is doing nothing more
than making a political statement. In simply reading the names of our fallen
heroes, this program has adopted a strategy employed by numerous anti-war
demonstrators who wish to focus attention solely on the cost of war. "

Mr. Smith, wrote this to Senator Mccain about the nightline program being pulled. So can Mr. Smith spell HYPOCRITE. Ther should be EQUAL TIME. I would like to know where the tehics board is on this.

 
At October 13, 2004 at 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not seen the "Stolen Honor" film but from what I have read it sounds much like a Michael Moore "documentary." Why aren't you "Boycott Sinclair" people upset about Moore's smear film which uses the same editing methods to bend the truth about Bush?

 
At October 13, 2004 at 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who is saying "we should be upset with Michael Moore, too":

We are upset with Sinclair because they are using OUR airwaves to show this movie - you either paid to see F/911 - or else you didn't see it! In the case of the 'Nightline' show a few months ago, I paid, AND simply because of Sinclair's political leanings, I DIDN'T see it!!! I want equal time, as it is accorded to us by law. Demand that they show the other movies, too.
Moreover, Bush has a warchest many times larger than Kerry's that he is using to buy not only airtime, but probably ANYTHING ELSE he think he needs to win at any cost. Balance, fairness - THAT'S the AMERICAN WAY!

 
At October 13, 2004 at 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would boycott Sinclair if they showed a pro-Kerry documentary just as I will if they show an anti-Kerry one.

To those who would compare the "anti" movies on either side, people choose which movies or documentaries they wish to pay to see. You do not see Fahrenheit 911 or other movies of this kind, nor should you, on free TV.

It is not a minor but a MAJOR difference and those who cannot see it choose to blind themselves to the injustice in order to further their own aims.

 
At October 13, 2004 at 11:38 AM, Blogger Steve said...

BOYCOTT STRATEGY (post this up top please, trooth)

Email all your favorite news, sports and weather people working at the local Sinclair stations. Tell them to "sick-out" on the day they show the anti-Kerry slander. I already have.

 
At October 13, 2004 at 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sinclair business is a disgraceful violation of the law. They should have their license pulled. I'll not buy another thing from a sinclair advertiser if i can possibly help it.

 
At October 13, 2004 at 3:42 PM, Blogger Ron Brynaert said...

"You do not see Fahrenheit 911 or other movies of this kind, nor should you, on free TV."

Yes, you should.

But, after this, we might not anymore.

 
At October 13, 2004 at 4:47 PM, Blogger syracusemediawatch said...

To Dunk and Bright Furniture
Syracuse, NY
1-800-724-4173
dunkandbright at dunkandbright.com

Dear Sir:
I am complaining to Dunk and Bright, because you are a
Syracuse sponsor on Sinclair Broadcasting at
WSYT (Fox) and WNYS.

As you know, WSYT Fox news is produced by the news staff at WTVH (CBS), where you also advertise.

You are aware that Sinclair has scheduled a two-hour movie next week on WSYT and WNYS ("Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal") that is a one-sided, propaganda
movie that attacks presidential candidate John Kerry
just before the election.

Dunk and Bright certainly is aware that voter registration and polls of the Syracuse metro audience indicate that only 28 % identify themselves as Republican, but 35 % identify themselves as Independents, and 32 % as Democrats.

Dunk and Bright should give serious consideration to
alienation of potential customers--that is, the 67% who
are Independents and Democrats.

You might urge Sinclair Broadcasting (Phone: 410-568-5103)to give equal time to a documentary from an opposing perspective, like
"Band of Brothers" or "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry" or other films critical of the Bush administration.

Sincerely,
Austin G. Paulnack
119 Strong Ave., Syracuse 13210-2617

 
At October 13, 2004 at 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok honestly... you all are wasting your time, I work for "the enemy" and I can tell you that they will never back down, EVER. When they make a decision like this that's it. They will play this program and play it with joy. Pickets and protests and boycott's aren't going to do anything. I mean what are you going to do? Not wash your hair because Suave advertises on the station? Not drive your Ford or Dodge because they advertise on Sinclair? Not go to Subway or Taco Bell? You all are going to be hungry, stinky, tired from walking everywhere people because it's not going to happen. I'll tell you this, there are VERY FEW companies that the Smith's don't have their claws into.
Also, what's the point of calling the stations and the corporate office? They aren't doing anything with your calls except making a mockery out of them. The only thing that has changed is that each market and corp has boosted security due to crazy people.

I just think that all this anger and energy should be focused on something more useful like VOTING!!!!
Don't boycott or picket or anything because none of this is going to hurt us. All it is going to do is give us something to talk about at work! It gives us entertainment! We are on these anti-sinclair sites all day making fun of them....

go out and vote for KERRY!! That's where it is going to hurt the most... once Kerry is elected president that is what is going to hurt the Smith's the most. So focus all this energy to your friends and neighbors to try to convince them to vote for Kerry!!! I'm on the inside looking out and you all are just making fools of yourselfs. Have a great night!!!

 
At October 14, 2004 at 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BOYCOTT SINCLAIR:

3-step plan

http://www.angelfire.com/blog2/boycottsinclair/index.html

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.

 
At October 17, 2004 at 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ok honestly... you all are wasting your time, I work for "the enemy" and I can tell you that they will never back down, EVER."

OK enemy. Are we supposed to sit idly by and do nothing? I don't think so! Sure, maybe the day after the show is aired the controversy will be forgotten but do you think the Republicans would sit by and let CBS air 'Going Upriver'? NO.

Voicing ones' opinion is our right and our responsibility. Just because the rich run this country does not mean we should make it easy for them to take our rights away.

We and our fore fathers have fought and died for our rights. (It is not the fault of the soldier who wants to serve his/her country that the powers that be abuse their loyality and lie to them for their own personal gain.) John Kerry fought bravely in one of those wars.

This Sinclair thing is a smear campaign constructed by the same man that Nixon hired to try to dis-credit Kerry in the 60's.

I wish people would educate themselves rather than go with the catch phrase of the day.

Also, we can spread the word about alternative things to watch that offer a more realistic view of the world.

1. Watch 'Decision 2004' on PBS. You'll all gain a new appreciation for MR. Kerry and what he has done for our country.

2. Check out www.linktv.com and find the station on your satelite dish. It is a very progressive and truthful look at the world as you may have never seen it before. They operate solely on private donations with no corporate sponsorship. They are even more independant than PBS. There is a special report about 9/11 and the Iraq war starting on Sunday evening 10/17/04 and playing several times afterward.

3. Listen to www.airamericaradio.com online or your local stations.

4. Spread the word about 'Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism ', 'UNCOVERED: THE WAR ON IRAQ' and
'Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry'. There's also a very disturbing speech by Bill Moyers one of the nations most respected news men. See some of it here: http://www.peace.ca/moyersvideo.htm Also view the speeches and/or forward the text from Bill Moyers and other progressive thinkers to everyone you know from here: http://www.demos-usa.org/page118.cfm

We have to fight to keep our freedoms and to save some of this planet for our children. The profiteering corporations that have raped this nation and shamed us in the eyes of the rest of the world deserve to be put out to pasture before it's too late. I am sure they will not step doen without a fight. A fight we have to keep on our level, a new level, a strategy they won't see coming until it's too late.

 
At October 17, 2004 at 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ok honestly... you all are wasting your time, I work for "the enemy" and I can tell you that they will never back down, EVER."

OK enemy. Are we supposed to sit idly by and do nothing? I don't think so! Sure, maybe the day after the show is aired the controversy will be forgotten but do you think the Republicans would sit by and let CBS air 'Going Upriver'? NO.

Voicing ones' opinion is our right and our responsibility. Just because the rich run this country does not mean we should make it easy for them to take our rights away.

We and our fore fathers have fought and died for our rights. (It is not the fault of the soldier who wants to serve his/her country that the powers that be abuse their loyality and lie to them for their own personal gain.) John Kerry fought bravely in one of those wars.

This Sinclair thing is a smear campaign constructed by the same man that Nixon hired to try to dis-credit Kerry in the 60's.

I wish people would educate themselves rather than go with the catch phrase of the day.

Also, we can spread the word about alternative things to watch that offer a more realistic view of the world.

1. Watch 'Decision 2004' on PBS. You'll all gain a new appreciation for MR. Kerry and what he has done for our country.

2. Check out www.linktv.com and find the station on your satelite dish. It is a very progressive and truthful look at the world as you may have never seen it before. They operate solely on private donations with no corporate sponsorship. They are even more independant than PBS. There is a special report about 9/11 and the Iraq war starting on Sunday evening 10/17/04 and playing several times afterward.

3. Listen to www.airamericaradio.com online or your local stations.

4. Spread the word about 'Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism ', 'UNCOVERED: THE WAR ON IRAQ' and
'Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry'. There's also a very disturbing speech by Bill Moyers one of the nations most respected news men. See some of it here: http://www.peace.ca/moyersvideo.htm Also view the speeches and/or forward the text from Bill Moyers and other progressive thinkers to everyone you know from here: http://www.demos-usa.org/page118.cfm

We have to fight to keep our freedoms and to save some of this planet for our children. The profiteering corporations that have raped this nation and shamed us in the eyes of the rest of the world deserve to be put out to pasture before it's too late. I am sure they will not step doen without a fight. A fight we have to keep on our level, a new level, a strategy they won't see coming until it's too late.

 
At October 17, 2004 at 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pro-Kerry bunch hates it when a group like Sinclair puts on a feature spot that questions Kerry's bravery (which he so carefully documented on film for us while he was in Vietnam... how many of the guys did that?). And, of course, he joined the Navy, not the Marines! If he was really brave, that's the group he would have joined!

The pro-Kerry types never complain when the New York Times runs continuous anti-Bush propoganda. I guess it's just a case of selective outrage.

 
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