Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Hoist the Black Flag

Here is the rub. Everything I write on here has probably been said better somewhere else.
That said, I am interested to catalogue my observations on the media in this blog. I have a job where I watch ten to twelve hours of TV news per night. This is news from national stations (ABC, NBC, Fox News Channel) and their local affiliates.

I am glad to see SBC and Mark Hyman get negative attention. Hyman is, unfortunately, a familiar face to me. Sinclair Broadcasting forces his editorial pieces on their stations, including the Nashville station I have to watch every night.
The idea that John Kerry somehow prolonged the Vietnam war with his statements and actions is classic Hyman logic. Now I realize that this thinking pervades the SBC executive community (clearly not reality-based).

Here is an interview I first saw on Atrios today:
HEMMER: Democrats also crying foul over the decision by Sinclair Broadcasting over a documentary attacking John Kerry on its stations just before the election. Question this morning: Is this news, or is it just propaganda?Mark Hyman is the vice president for corporate relations for the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and he is my guest now. And Mark, welcome. Good morning to you.
MARK HYMAN, SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP: Good morning, Bill. Thank you very much.
HEMMER: What's the motivation behind this airing now?
HYMAN: Well, this is definitely a newsworthy event. These Vietnam prisoners of war had suffered horrific abuse and unspeakable torture for many years. And they -- most of them maintained silence for 31 years and felt a need to respond to claims made by John Kerry.
They have only recently come forward and, as you may know, they've approached the broadcast networks who all said, "We're not interested in speaking to you folks." Nobody has earned a right to speak on the Vietnam experience more so than these men. There are a pair of Medal of Honor winners in this particular group. So, these folks have some standing.
Now, our goal here is to get John Kerry to sit down and talk with these guys, get a chance to tell them why he branded them as war criminals, why he accused them of committing wartime atrocities. These are questions...
No exclamation of surprise is necessary here. This is par for the course. Hyman is also one of those guys who insists that liberals (including everyone at MoveOn.org, New York Times newspapers, etc.) hate soldiers.
And, guess what? The Washington Bureau Chief for Sinclair Broadcasting, Jon Leiberman, was fired for disagreeing with the decision to air the movie.
"They're using the news to drive their political agenda," Leiberman said. "I don't think it served the public trust."
And what did Sinclair say? "We are disappointed that Jon's political views caused him to violate company policy and speak to the press about company business."
Company business - right. But they're making it our business by foisting it on the public before the election.

I've seen Leiberman before. They sent him to cover Iraq at one point. He would share the "positive news" coming out of that country. He would interview soldiers complaining about the negative press about the war. I guess everyone has their limits.