Friday, October 15, 2004

Three thoughts about "the news"

Ok, maybe these aren't too dear to my heart, but they have been bugging me.

First and foremost: Sinclair Broadcasting. The television group which includes Fox, WB, ABC, CBS, NBC, and UPN affiliates in 24 states is airing the Kerry-slamming "Stolen Honor" as a news program, without interruption, and preempting regular schedules. The fact that the company is calling any such political, inflammatory documentary "news," instead of a 40-minute unpaid advertisement, is angering. As I understand it, the broadcasting group is inviting Kerry for an interview to justify "equal" time.

Now, in honoring the first amendment, I believe that people should certainly be able to make up their own minds about such programming. My own hope would be that Sinclair Broadcasting as a media group watches its advertisers, viewers, and money shrivel.

Here in Sacramento, the station owned by SB is KOVR, Channel 13, a CBS affiliate. You can find your local SB station here.

What I find perhaps most frustrating is the comparison in the news coverage for this incident compared to, say, the CBS document problem. The media is so anxious that it will once again be labeled the "L word" that comments on this stunt seem to be composed with a very quiet hand. If Fahrenheit 9/11 were to be broadcast to 24 percent of US television households, you can bet the conservative spin doctors would have a field day.

My second, little thought (will save the third for another day): Who ever said that all reporters are liberally biased? Check out today's SDN for coverage of a Bush rally in Southern Oregon. Please note that said daily newspaper definitely did not cover the political rally held for John Kerry in Medford this summer.

Guess it just goes to remind that "objective" is in the eye of the beholder (and "biased" is always the other guy)...


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