If Sinclair is Biased...
by Raymond Green
03 May 2004
farcical about the left-wing media reporting charges of “bias” by a conservative broadcasting company.
farcical about the US press reporting charges of “bias” and “corruption”
by a conservative broadcasting company.
Ted Koppel read the names of the more than 500 fallen soldiers in Iraq on ABC’s Nightline
and the Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. decided to preempt the broadcast on
its stations that air ABC programming. Sinclair stated the preemption was
intended to prevent ABC from aggrandizing what it thought to be an antiwar
movement and issued a statement on its website explaining the motive behind
In the statement Sinclair issued, they concealed nothing. They pronounced
their support of the war, their support of the soldiers and their support
of the President’s decision to go to war. Essentially they said, “We’re biased,
here’s our opinion.”
Fair enough. We know where Sinclair stands on the war and the motive behind their decision. As for ABC, that is another story.
What was their motive in the broadcast? Was it the May ratings race? No,
Koppel denied that May sweeps had anything to do with it in an interview
on CNN. He went so far as to deny even knowing it was May sweeps night. After
all these years in broadcasting, Koppel apparently had no idea his broadcast
was on the second night of sweeps. However, he did state that he knew the
schedule of the Indianapolis 500 throughout May and that airing the broadcast
on Memorial Day would cause it to get “lost.”
also denied that his broadcast was intended to encourage antiwar sentiment.
He has, however, admitted the broadcast was inspired by an issue of Life
magazine in June of 1969 that contained two pages of pictures of the men
who died over the course of a week in Vietnam that “had an enormous impact.”
What kind of impact? The BBC – hardly a White House affiliate – cites in its history of the Vietnam War the following:
On 27 June, 1969, Life
magazine displayed portrait photos of all 242 Americans killed in Vietnam
during the previous week, including the 46 killed at 'Hamburger Hill.' The
impact of these photos, and some of the faces behind the numbers, stunned
Americans and increased anti-war sentiment in the country.
If Koppel was aware of the “impact” the issue of Life had and chose to replicate it, he is disingenuous in stating that it isn’t intended to fuel antiwar sentiment.
What’s more troubling than ABC’s exploitation of fallen soldiers to further
an agenda is the press’s coverage of the controversy with Sinclair.
Sinclair is practicing censorship; Sinclair is biased; Sinclair is sucking
up to the White House to advance liberalizing regulations limiting ownership
in the media. That is what you get from the mainstream media.
In the previously mentioned interview on CNN, Koppel was given questions
that ended with, “I don’t quite get the [analogy offered by Sinclair] but
I put it to you” and “I got to tell you, if you did think [it would boost
your ratings], there was a Michael Jackson hearing today, and you've got
to get some better people advising you on how to boost ratings.” That’s the
kind of hard hitting investigative journalism we’re looking for.
MSNBC.com covered the story just as efficiently. They opened with 22 paragraphs
overwhelmingly critical of Sinclair before the subtitle Sinclair defends decision
appears. This section, by implication supposed to be Sinclair’s response,
opens with, “Maryland-based Sinclair, whose holdings include 62 TV stations,
made $65,434 in 2004 political donations — 98 percent of that to Republicans
and 2 percent to Democrats.” Followed by 2 short paragraphs explaining Sinclair’s
position, the story immediately (under the same subsection) resorts to covering
the criticism of the decision.
I could go on and on but there’s no sense in being redundant. Hard stretched,
I only found more ridiculous coverage of the decision by Al Jazeerah.
Where is Bob Woodward when you need a real investigation? ABC essentially
slides through a program with as close of an admission to bias as we’ll get
(by admitting the broadcast was inspired by the June issue of Life
in 1969), and Sinclair is covered overwhelmingly as the biased outlet. Sinclair
admits where they stand while Koppel insists he’s objective. After all, he
won’t even wear a flag on his suit while exploiting our fallen heroes for
his political agenda and May sweeps. How could you be biased if you won’t
even where a flag?
Sinclair is accused of influencing the news while CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times
and nearly every other media outlet skew what people hear and read on a daily
basis. A bipartisan group returned from Iraq about 6 months ago stating that
the coverage of the situation in Iraq was far better than what we were being
told by the media. I believe that the motives of Sinclair are more sincere
than Koppel’s ridiculous attempt to portray objectivity, and the decision
by Sinclair makes far more sense than the same media distorting every other
issue cares to acknowledge.
Raymond Green's website is SupportNoSpin.com.
Email Raymond Green
this Article to a Friend