Yesterday former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt sent the following message to <$NoAd$>executives at Sinclair Broadcasting Group …
I’m told you were involved in a decision to order Sinclair stations to carry anti-Kerry propaganda. If my information is false, please forgive this intrusion. While I do not believe you should be required to carry pro-Kerry content, except of course for an even-handed sale of your advertising time to both campaigns, I do wish to register my objection and concern if in fact you have obliged your stations to carry anti-Kerry propaganda.
I assure you that if you were carrying anti-Bush propaganda I would be equally concerned.
The problem is this: How can it be part of a broadcaster’s public interest obligation to aspire to alter the perceptions of the audience about a presidential candidate by showing biased content that in no way reflects either breaking news or even-handed treatment of the issues? Why should a broadcaster keep its licenses if it behaves in this manner? I hope you will reconsider your edict — unless, of course, I am misinformed, in which case I do hope you forgive this message.
— Reed Hundt
He hits on the key point: the stations’ licenses. And here are some good ideas about how to proceed.