Friday, April 30, 2004

:: GOP Allied Media Group Orders Affiliates To Preempt "Nightline" Show Honoring Slain U.S. Troops [link]

:: Citing political reasons, the Sinclair Broadcast Group ordered its ABC affiliates to preempt a broadcast of ABC News' "Nightline" where host Ted Koppel will read the names of every U.S. soldier killed in combat in Iraq. 98 percent of Sinclair's political contributions in 2004 have gone to Republican candidates.

:: “That’s ridiculous,” Beth Whitener told the Asheville Citizen-Times. Whitener’s husband, 19-year-old Army Pfc. Joey Whitener was killed Nov. 15 when two Black Hawk helicopters crashed in Mosul, Iraq.

“I think it’ s more than appropriate to show those faces because they were over there fighting for our freedom. I think they have a right to be honored and shown on TV.” More from soldier's families here.

:: "Despite the denials by a spokeswoman for the show, the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq." said Sinclair.

:: skippy has a great piece filled with pertinent links on the Sinclair Group Niteline censorship.

:: My ABC Ted Koppel station is owned by the Sinclair Group so I won't be able to see the show tonight. Here's what I sent FAIR and to the WLOS station:
Dear WLOS:
I am disappointed in your decision to boycott the Ted Koppel Niteline show tonight, April 30, 2004.

I remember as a younger girl looking at the pictures in Life magazine of fallen US soldiers. And respectfully watching them arrive at Dover to much decorum and celebrated fanfare. I appreciated the effort even more when I could see a family during their terrible times. The nation joined together in their grief as I was able to sympathize with them.

Ultimately, I was able to see how important diplomacy is. How important it is to make every effort to avoid war to begin with. But if inevitable, how great the sacrifice.
I can see Iran or North Korea or China censoring these kinds of programs. But not the US. And for Sinclair to claim Ted Koppel has an agenda tied to this program only appears desperate and makes me ask what can they be afraid of if this show airs?
Have any advertisers pulled out? That's usually a television station's programming guideline. Picking and choosing what to show is censorship. Pure and simple. And it will not stand.

Asheville, NC



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