The TV broadcasting group that came under fire for plans to air a documentary critical of Sen. John Kerry is fighting back against an initiative protesting its “conservative slant.”
Mark Hyman (Courtesy Fox News)
David Brock, the former right-leaning journalist who now champions liberal causes, has mobilized groups such as MoveOn.org to “spur action” against Sinclair Broadcast Group’s alleged promotion of “partisan political interests above all others.”
In an e-mail to WorldNetDaily, Sinclair Vice President Mark Hyman called Brock’s campaign “pure silliness by obscure organizations and individuals who are confused over the differences between clearly labeled commentary and news.”
Brock, founder of the watchdog website Media Matters for America, says he is particularly concerned about Sinclair’s nightly news commentary by Hyman, “The Point.”
Brock charges Hyman “espouses one-sided, conservative rhetoric without any counterpoint.”
Says Hyman: “I am the counterpoint. My weekly 15 minutes of commentary is the counterpoint to Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, Katie Couric, Aaron Brown and the others who offer personal opinion and commentary without a balanced response dozens of hours each and every week.”
In October, Sinclair stations broadcast a program titled “A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media,” examining allegations concerning Kerry’s anti-Vietnam War activities raised in the documentary “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal” and the role of media and the use of documentaries in influencing voters.
As WorldNetDaily first reported, “Stolen Honor” presents former POWs who tell how Kerry’s 1971 testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was used as propaganda against them by their North Vietnamese captors, allegedly intensifying their persecution and prolonging the war and imprisonment.
Along with MoveOn.org, Brock says the new initiative against Sinclair is supported by MediaChannel; WorkingAssets; Robert Greenwald, director of Outfoxed; Campaign for America’s Future; FreePress; and Alternet.
Brock has a new website, www.SinclairAction.com “where citizens can register concerns directly with companies that advertise on Sinclair stations.”
David Brock (Courtesy NBC)
“We believe Sinclair is abusing its stewardship of the airwaves licensed to it on behalf of the American people,” said David Brock. “The nightly commentaries offered on ‘The Point’
reflect a persistent pattern at Sinclair, which promotes partisan political interests even at the expense of their purported commitment to responsible news programming.”
Brock notes a press release Sinclair issued in response to reported plans to air the controversial documentary “Stolen Honor” weeks before the Nov. 2 election in which executives made a commitment to “the highest journalistic standards and integrity” and “to presenting both sides of the issues covered in an equal and impartial manner.”
But Brock says his “systematic analysis” of editions of “The Point” aired between Nov. 2 and Dec. 1 found that Hyman’s commentaries do anything but “present both sides of the issues.”
Hyman, according to Brock “made repeated attacks on prominent progressive leaders and members of the
Democratic Party (including Senator John Kerry and former President Bill Clinton), unsubstantiated charges of liberal media bias, derogatory references to ‘The Angry Left’ and ardent support of President George W. Bush and his policies.”
Media Matters for America sent letters to Sinclair’s CEO, David D. Smith, and to major advertisers, including Kraft, Target, Staples, Sprint PCS, McDonalds and Geico, “asking that they work together in good faith to ensure responsible news programming in the public’s best interest.”
“We believe the fairest way to ensure balance on these public airwaves is for Sinclair to provide a meaningful opportunity for opposing views to be heard opposite ‘The Point,'” said Brock. “This new website provides concerned citizens a mechanism for insisting on balance on Sinclair broadcasts.”