Sinclair: Getting Nasty
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., under widening scrutiny over plans to air a documentary about Sen. John Kerry's wartime activities 30 years ago, said on Tuesday it would not show the program in its entirety.---
"Contrary to numerous inaccurate political and press accounts, the Sinclair stations will not be airing the documentary 'Stolen Honor' in its entirety," the Baltimore-based company said in a statement.
Sinclair said it would air a special news program on Friday called "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media" that would discuss the allegations surrounding Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities.
Sinclair Broadcating fired its DC Bureau Chief Jon Leiberman yesterday after he voiced his unwillingness to participate in Sinclair's plan to broadcast "Stolen Honor," an anti-Kerry documentary and call it "news."
"I was told I violated company policy by divulging information from a staff meeting to The (Baltimore) Sun in this morning's edition," Leiberman said late Monday.Sinclair called Leiberman a "disgruntled employee" in a statement and said, "we are disappointed that Jon's political views caused him to violate company policy and speak to the press about company business."
"They're using news to drive their political agenda," says Leiberman. "I don't think it served the public trust."
Meanwhile: "[Sinclair] shares closed Monday at $6.49, down 55 cents since Friday — and down 12% since Oct. 11, the first day of trading after the Los Angeles Times disclosed Sinclair's plans."
More: Read Amy Goodman's interview with Mark Hyman, Sinclair Vice President for Corporate Relations. And check out this Twin Cities take on tomorrow night's local TV lineup:
They're not on the ballot, but four brothers from Maryland could play a major role in this year's presidential election.
The Smith brothers -- David, Frederick, Robert and J. Duncan -- control 90 percent of the voting stock of Sinclair Broadcast Group, the nation's largest owner of local television stations.
Among their holdings is KMWB-TV, Channel 23, in the Twin Cities.
The Smiths usually feed their Twin Cities viewers a news-free diet. The station's weekly schedule is heavy on sitcom reruns and WB network dramas, with no regularly scheduled news programs.
But at 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the station's schedule, KMWB will drop its regular installment of "Elimidate" to air "Stolen Honor," a documentary criticizing the antiwar protests of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry after he returned from a highly decorated tour of duty in Vietnam.