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Sinclair Drops 'Stolen Honor'

The documentary that Kerry supporters appear to desperately want to keep you from seeing won't be seen after all.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Sinclair Broadcast Group has pulled back on its plans to air a program critical of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's anti-Vietnam war activities.

A young Kerry testifies before Congress in a scene from the movie.

Facing a growing political firestorm , the Hunt Valley, Md.-based broadcaster said Tuesday that it would not air the documentary "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" in its entirety.

Sinclair said 40 of its 62 stations would air a one-hour program on Friday entitled "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media" that will still raise allegations about Kerry's anti-war activities in the early 1970s. It will also focus in part on the use of documentaries and the role of the media in swaying voters, the company said.

The blog left assures us that their objection to Sinclair airing the documentary was an alleged abuse of the public airwaves. Since they've made the case that cable and PPV were different than Sinclair's broadcast stations, they should be all in favor of one of the hundreds of cable channels (such as C-SPAN) showing the 45 minute documentary, right?


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Sinclair Drops 'Stolen Honor':

» dustbury.com linked with Sinclair retreats, maybe

» The Waterglass linked with Sinclair Changes Mind

Comments (44)

And so continues the left's... (Below threshold)

And so continues the left's campaign against speech they don't like. How dare they call anyone fascist while they carry on like this?

Actually, it is going to ru... (Below threshold)

Actually, it is going to run, not in its entirety - just as originally planned. As confirmed in quotes here in the New York Times. This isn't at all due to pressure from the left or other groups.

They can use the new bill j... (Below threshold)

They can use the new bill just signed in California by Ahnald to stop the airing as hate speech. California just lost their legal use of the 1st Amendment. Kerry can screech 'hate, hate'!!! And that will tear it even further.

They are airing portions of... (Below threshold)

They are airing portions of it, but read what they are doing to the MSM and Kerry during the broadcast.

Sinclair to Air "A POW Story"

BALTIMORE (October 19, 2004) - Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI)
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. A complete list of stations which
will be airing the program and the times of such broadcasts is attached.

The news special will focus in part on the use of documentaries and
other media to influence voting, which emerged during the 2004 political
campaigns, as well as on the content of certain of these documentaries.
The program will also examine the role of the media in filtering the
information contained in these documentaries, allegations of media bias by
media organizations that ignore or filter legitimate news and the attempts
by candidates and other organizations to influence media coverage.

Contrary to numerous inaccurate political and press accounts, the
Sinclair stations will not be airing the documentary "Stolen Honor" in its
entirety. At no time did Sinclair ever publicly announce that it intended
to do so. In fact, since the controversy began, Sinclair's website has
prominently displayed the following statement: "The program has not been
videotaped and the exact format of this unscripted event has not been
finalized. Characterizations regarding the content are premature and are
based on ill-informed sources."

While the news special will discuss the allegations surrounding Senator
John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities in the early 1970s raised by a
number of former POWs in "Stolen Honor," it will do so in the context of
the broader discussion outlined above. The program will be hosted by Jeff
Barnd, the Emmy award winning co-anchor of Fox 45's 10:00 News which airs
on WBFF-TV, Sinclair's flagship station in Baltimore, Maryland.

Joe DeFeo, Sinclair's Vice President of News commented that, "As with
all news programming produced by Sinclair's News Central, A POW Story is
being produced with the highest journalistic standards and integrity. We
have not ceded, and will not in the future cede, control of our news
reporting to any outside organization or political group. We are
endeavoring, as we do with all of our news coverage, to present both sides
of the issues covered in an equal and impartial manner."

In fact, Sinclair has been in private communication with Senator
Kerry's campaign, including a recent face-to-face meeting with senior
campaign officials, for approximately two weeks in order to negotiate
participation in the special by either Senator Kerry or his designee.
Although the Kerry campaign declined to participate, Sinclair has left the
invitation open and will make every effort to accommodate the Senator up to
the air date for the program should he become willing to present his
viewpoint for Sinclair's audience.

David Smith noted that, "The experience of preparing to air this news
special has been trying for many of those involved. The company and many
of its executives have endured personal attacks of the vilest nature, as
well as calls on our advertisers and our viewers to boycott our stations
and on our shareholders to sell their stock. In addition, and more
shockingly, we have received threats of retribution from a member of
Senator John Kerry's campaign and have seen attempts by leading members of
Congress to influence the Federal Communications Commission to stop
Sinclair from broadcasting this news special. Moreover, these coordinated
attacks have occurred without regard to the facts since they predated the
broadcast of our news special."

Mr. Smith further stated, "We cannot in a free America yield to the
misguided attempts by a small but vocal minority to influence behavior and
trample on the First Amendment rights of those with whom they might not
agree. I have been encouraged, however, by the thousands of e-mails and
other messages I, and others, received supporting Sinclair's efforts to
hold firm to its ideals in the face of a firestorm of controversy which,
ironically, was actually based on misinformation. We also took comfort in
the positions of other media organizations which supported our right to
present this story notwithstanding any disagreement they may have with the
content, as well as in the words of Michael Powell, Chairman of the FCC who
refused to block the program, noting that to do so would be
'unconstitutional' and 'an absolute disservice to the First Amendment.'"

Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., one of the largest and most diversified
television broadcasting companies, owns and operates, programs, or provides
sales services to 62 television stations in 39 markets. Sinclair's
television group includes FOX, WB, ABC, CBS, NBC, and UPN affiliates and
reaches approximately 24% of all U.S. television households


Yes, this jives with their ... (Below threshold)

Yes, this jives with their original plans.

I remember the day that Sinclair made the announcement and the hue and cry was raised; a Sinclair spokesman went on FNC and said that they were airing a news special about the allegations raised by the POWs. Not that they were airing the documentary, but a news program about the documentary and picturing clips therefrom. They invited Kerry to be on the program, which is a lot more than CBS News did for Bush.

I have never been against i... (Below threshold)

I have never been against it, as long as they run something comparable from the other side, say f9/11.

"And so continues the left'... (Below threshold)

"And so continues the left's campaign against speech they don't like. How dare they call anyone fascist while they carry on like this?"

Interesting that when the right fought tooth and Nail to keep the Reagan movie off the air, they were not fascist?"

"I have never been against ... (Below threshold)

"I have never been against it, as long as they run something comparable from the other side, say f9/11."

So, uh, when CBS ran that 60 Minutes special about Bush and the National Guard, using forged documents and unreliable witnesses, should they have been compelled to "run something comparable from the other side, too?"

If it turns out that Bush rapes chickens, should news organizations be forbidden to air the charges unless they also devote an equal amount of time to material complimentary to the President?

Mr Anderson... the MSM have... (Below threshold)

Mr Anderson... the MSM have been running "something comparable" for months... all of the Democratic book of the month clubs specials on 60 Minutes... Dan Rather's infamous Memogate... and on... and on...

Maybe we should all just wait until it runs, and THEN discuss the pros and cons based on the actual content - not some projection of what that content MIGHT be.

Except the Reagan movie DID... (Below threshold)

Except the Reagan movie DID AIR, albeit on Showtime.

I believe you gentlemen are... (Below threshold)

I believe you gentlemen are missing something, that is that if Sinclair has mentioned equal time, and is in discussions with the Kerry campaign, they have already made a defacto acknowledgement of bias, therefore equal time is justified.

True Kevin, and I would not... (Below threshold)

True Kevin, and I would not have a problem with them airing a 3 hour interview with the Swift Boar Liars on Pay Cable.

- Why is it that anything t... (Below threshold)

- Why is it that anything that calls Kerry out on his bullshit made up past and anti-war activities and their effects on his fellow Vets caled "bias"...

- Is that the lefts argument... Anything you say about their candidate is "bias" regardless of the truth of it...

- If Kerry had nothing to hide it wouldn't be an issue...If lies were told he could simply set the record straight.... reverse lying such as the endless sound byte that the "Swiftboat people have been discredited" and "All the Swiftboat Vets are liers" is not discrediting replies...

- The left can post and yammer till the cows come home.... As long as Kerry refuses to sign that pesky form 180 and release the rest of his service records it will hang over his head like a big turd....

Hunter, you seem like a rea... (Below threshold)

Hunter, you seem like a reasonable fellow after yesterday's discussions I gained respect for you. How do you feel about Bush's Military records coming out a few sheets at a time over what a few years. That argument (That Kerry has not released all of his records), seems somewhat hypocritical in light of Bush's record on releasing his.

- I'm for every person runn... (Below threshold)

- I'm for every person running for the presidency, or congress or any office for that matter being "required" to make public any and all records documenting their history.... period..... no acceptions....none.....

See... I can respect that, ... (Below threshold)

See... I can respect that, and we are in complete agreement.

- I'll tell you something e... (Below threshold)

- I'll tell you something else Dave.... As a Manager/Engineer for 45 years in the Aerospace industry this whole situation boggles my mind. I couldn't take a dump without an OSS agent looking up my name and address. Admitedly I had to have several high clearence ratings since I worked on some of the most clandistine systems. To think that you are handing the keys to the National cabinet to any man who hasn't been vetted, at least to that same level, just boggles my mind. Until this election cycle if anyone would have told me that, I would have said they were crazy. its just unbelievable to me.

- Had that realistic policy been followed all along we wouldn't even be posting on this sort of thing. Nor would we ever have to question a persons background since it would be a matter of solidly documented record. Doesn't even have to be public as long as high office holders on both sides can review them.....Speaker of the house and Senate Majority leader for instance, and of course the security services themselves.... I still have a hard time believing it.... incredible....

Well, help out the cause - ... (Below threshold)

Well, help out the cause - I just ordered my copy of Stolen Honor. Order one or two yourself...

Yeah, those crazy liberals.... (Below threshold)
Bill K:
- Bill K is a dedicated clo... (Below threshold)

- Bill K is a dedicated closet liberal folks...So be careful...He's just waiting in the shadows to spring his Nov. 1 supprise.....

I seriously doubt there's a... (Below threshold)

I seriously doubt there's anything Billk can do or say that would surprise me.

To compare the testimony of... (Below threshold)

To compare the testimony of the 15 ex POW's and their opinion of John F'en Kerry to F 9-11 and it's lies is just plain stupid. When I listen to the kerry hacks on TV debating with the Bush folks its like little kids talking to grown ups. The little kids (libs) think they know it all but sound shrill and antimature. Sometimes I wonder what planet the libs come from. Its like they live in another time plane. The bizzaro world maybe? Kerry has gotten a free skate from the MSM and it is treason, plain and simple.

Do you guys ever think that... (Below threshold)

Do you guys ever think that when the first thing that comes out of your mouth is calling someone you dont even know, "Stupid," how stupid and insecure that looks. Argue based on logic not insults chuck, otherwise I personally just look at you as a person with little of value to ad to the discussion other than Rah, Rah, I am with these guys.
Please, I may be liberal, but I am far from bullied by insults and asinine comments who's singular foundation is based on the idea that in this forum you will probably only insult 1% of the readers.

Yes, yes, David, you're abo... (Below threshold)

Yes, yes, David, you're above all the petty name-calling. Good for you. Now quit picking the low-hanging fruit and answer my questions. One, did CBS owe equal time to Bush when it aired its "news" story about Bush's service in the National Guard? And two, if an extremely damaging story came out about the President (or, for that matter, his opponent), would the networks be forbidden to air the story without offering minute-for-minute equal time?

Yo all, no worries. You ca... (Below threshold)

Yo all, no worries. You can watch it online via their pay-per-view systems (except, you only pay once and can watch it as much as you want) for $4.99. I spent the dough tonight and it was WELL worth it. I much prefer watching these POWs finally get their say after some 33+ years.

Stolen Honor Pay-Per-View

hunter said: Bill K is a... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

hunter said: Bill K is a dedicated closet liberal folks

Uh, I am not in the closet about being a Democrat.

As for showing the film on cable I don't think I could complain about Bravo or the History Channel, or some other non-news station showing it. Granted, I wouldn't like it, but there would be no reason to throw a fuss about it.

When you use the public airwaves to air a campaign ad though, you have crossed a line. Granted, not a legal one (due to Freedom of Speech), but a societal one that I think everyone on this board would agree with if the movie had been Farenheit 9/11 (or a "news program" based on the Farenheit 9/11).

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, ... (Below threshold)
jack rudd:

ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR and PBS all "crossed the line" many years ago. Anything goes.

The moonbats never acknowle... (Below threshold)

The moonbats never acknowledge that the difference beyween Fatanwhite 911 Pounds and the swifties or Stolen Honor is that Michael Moore refuses to call his movie a documentary, to do so would be to claim that it's true. He calls it "broad based entertainment" to avoid the slander suits. He never once has said it's true, while the swifties signed afadavits and Stolen Honor IS a documentary. They left has every right to sue if anything claimed can be proven false. They are afraid of the truth, and support the lies of Michael Moore, something he won't even support himself.

- Ok.... maybe "in the clos... (Below threshold)

- Ok.... maybe "in the closet" was over the top...At least I didn't mention the french maid outfit that Kevin told me you blog in.... opps

- The truth is the frantic ... (Below threshold)

- The truth is the frantic effort to suppress the film has nothing to do with "air waves" or "high ideals" or 1st amendment rights. It has everything to do with the current polls and the fact there are only so many venues left for Kerry to try to shift the momentum again before election day. One more black eye of gaffe like the Mary Cheney thing and it could be all over....

- The film itself is probably not all that much worse than the things that have already been shown with Kerry's congressional testimony thats been aired ad nausia. Normally it would'nt mean much but under the circumstances it could be the last straw with the remaining undecided's block....

- At this point I would rather if either candidate takes a header that it be because of something they did or said themselves. I don't want to listen to 4 more years of whining about "stolen honor" or "stolen elections"....

David seems to think that t... (Below threshold)

David seems to think that there's an equivilency between Stolen Valor and the agitprop F/9-11 by Michael "The Blimp from Michigan" Moore. Kerry admited he committed war crimes. Kerry says he's proud of what he did when he returned from Nam. I personally remember hearing Kerry say the nastiest things about our servicemen serving in Nam one can imagine. One doesn't need to "splice and dice" scenes to show America the real John Kerry. If the MSM really did their jobs, Stolen Valor wouldn't be necessary. Why don't the Kerry supporters make a film about Kerry's exploits in Vietnam? I'll tell you why: the film would last only 15 minutes cause the freaking bum only served for 4 months. He used what was once considered an honorable medal -- the Purple Heart -- like a "get-outa-jail card."

And, David, why would anyon... (Below threshold)

And, David, why would anyone care what you think? That's the problem with many conservative leaders -- they care too much about what Libs think. It's like a psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital caring about what the psych ward patients think of him. If you ask me, we humor the Libs so much that they actually believe what they think or believe matters.

Crossing a societal line?? ... (Below threshold)

Crossing a societal line?? This from the people who have been screaming Bushhitler for four years. A pox on all your houses!

Somewhere this discussion m... (Below threshold)

Somewhere this discussion misses the underlying reality:

Those who are voting for Kerry already have the blinders on, and have for some time now. There is very little, short of a man-chicken incident (that I read in another comment), that will change their vote. The proverbial wool has been completely pulled over their eyes...

So the issue is really not what effect this program could have on the election. The issue is that the voters in the "anybody but Bush" camp don't want to hear this stuff. They don't want to be reminded of the shortcomings of the candidate they settled for.

You guys are getting upset ... (Below threshold)

You guys are getting upset over something that is media manipulated. Sinclair has always said they only intended to run part of Stolen Valor. They are still going to show it, and show the part they always intended to show. That they tried to clue the media to this fact is when the media started saying they had backed down. Read the whole story and you will see that Sinclair has NOT backed down and will still be airing the parts of Stolen honor they intended from the start. The media wants you to think they are not going to show so you won't watch. Don't let the media scare you and panic.

To the guy who called the s... (Below threshold)

To the guy who called the swiftboat and POWs liars.

The Kerry campaign has about 12 vets who stand up for him. Swiftboats has about 280 who don't. So the 12 are truthful and the 280 are liars? Also, Stolen Valour merely states what is public record but that so many have forgotten or simply were not old enough to remember: That John Kerry gave aid and comfort to the enemy while still an officer of the US Navy. This is illegal and he should have been proscecuted. It is also a matter of public record. So which part of Stolen Valour do you think is a lie? The public record part? The memories of POWs that actually lived through it? Have you seen Stolen Valour? I would bet not.

David Anderson made the com... (Below threshold)

David Anderson made the comment above about Bush's records coming out a page at a time. As if he had any control over what is released and when. That "pesky form 180" is simply permission for the Pentagon to release the records. That means that the inhabitants of the largest office building in the world control how the records are publicized, not the person whose records are in question.

Kerry could clear up a lot of questions (or more probably damn himself fatally, politically) if he just signed 180.

BTW, I just wanted to note ... (Below threshold)

BTW, I just wanted to note that I've been reading this blog for just less than a week, and I like what I read. Keep up the good work, folks.

If the film isn't about mon... (Below threshold)
Get VideoOut:

If the film isn't about money, then release it via p2p under a copyleft type of license, and they should also allow blogs like Wizbang to post it for download. If the blogs use the Coral distributed hosting (just append something to the end of the url of the file) it won't cost any bandwidth at all except for the initial upload to the cache. They should release it to the blogs for downloading under a similar copyleft type of license.

I don't think there has bee... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

I don't think there has been a documentary on NBC calling Bush, Hitler. So, if you have to stoop to comparing morals of some fringe people and a Broadcast Network that owns 62 stations, you are in some trouble. I, don't have to have journalistic integrity (so I could say Bush is Hitler), but news stations on the public airwaves do.

The vast majority of voting... (Below threshold)
Jim Hines:

The vast majority of voting age Americans who also excersise the right to vote recognize cenosorship when they see it.

They wonder why a candidate would be so frightened of decorated POW's freely speaking their minds that he would move legally to silence them.

The publicity achieved and curiousity built up around this movie by the vehement protestations and threats of reprisal by Kerry and his comrades has already accomplished what the POW's sought to do.

"Stolen Honor" is now referred to as the movie John Kerry does not want you to see. So of course everyone wants to see it.

If you like how Kerry has run his campaign you will be thrilled with how he governs the nation.

So, if you have to stoop... (Below threshold)

So, if you have to stoop to comparing morals of some fringe people and a Broadcast Network that owns 62 stations, you are in some trouble.

It has been the majority, including it's so-called leaders, who have been acting despicable for the past four years plus. So, no, it is the democratic party that is in trouble.

I, don't have to have journalistic integrity (so I could say Bush is Hitler), . . .

Luckily for you, it requires no integrity at all to scream Bushitler. Get use to screaming it for four more years.

Listen, the Democrats know ... (Below threshold)

Listen, the Democrats know John Kerry is a lowlife, cowardly traitor. The man is a professional protestor. He even said his vote against the $87 billion was a protest vote. The guy sucks and yet the Democrats will do anything and say anything to get him elected knowing he sucks.

some people once thought pr... (Below threshold)

some people once thought protesting was patriotic, but i guess you don't read much do you.






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