Left-wing media critic and journalist David Brock is warning a television-station chain to cancel its plans to air the anti-Kerry film “Stolen Honor: Wounds that Never Heal,” contending it could violate campaign broadcast regulations.
Brock, known for his ideological switch from right to left, wrote in a letter that Sinclair Broadcasting’s “plan to air anti-Kerry propaganda before the election is an abuse of the public airwaves for what appears to be partisan political purposes.”
As WorldNetDaily first reported, the television documentary features testimony by former POWs of the demoralizing impact of the senators’ war-crimes accusations more than 30 years ago.
Maryland-based Sinclair has ordered its 62 stations to preempt regular programming during prime time next week to air the 42-minute film. The station group, which reaches about 24 percent of U.S. households, has coverage in crucial battleground states.
In his letter, Brock wrote, “I don’t have to remind you … [that] 14 of the 62 stations the company either owns or programs are in the key political swing stations of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, where the presidential election is being closely fought.”
Brock is CEO and president of Media Matters for America, a Web-based non-profit “dedicated to correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.”
Sinclair’s vice president, Mark Hyman, said the company decided to broadcast the film after it was rejected by the major broadcast networks.
“This is a powerful story,” Hyman told the Washington Post. “The networks are acting like Holocaust deniers and pretending [the POWs] don’t exist. It would be irresponsible to ignore them.”
Sinclair invited Kerry to appear on a discussion program after the broadcast, Hyman said, but his campaign refused, calling the film “lies” and “a smear.”
Brock maintains Sinclair’s plan could constitute a violation of broadcast regulations requiring equal time for political candidates and the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.
But the Post said Sinclair’s invitation to Kerry could help the company satisfy federal requirements to provide “equal time” to candidates.
Brock noted that in the 2004 political cycle, Sinclair executives have given 97 percent of the company’s nearly $68,000 in political contributions to Republicans.
In April, Sinclair ordered seven of its ABC-affiliated stations not to air a controversial “Nightline” segment that consisted solely of reading the names of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.