As we noted earlier, this afternoon Sinclair sent out a press release in which they said that "contrary to numerous inaccurate political and press accounts, the Sinclair stations will not be airing the documentary 'Stolen Honor' in its entirety."
On that front, you'll be interested to know that some of the biased lefty rags who published this calumny were the TV listings in papers across the country. Here's the Yahoo TV listing, just by way of example.
Now, to move back to the substance of the matter, I headlined the earlier post with the question of whether Sinclair was starting to crack under the pressure. I don't think there's any question they are. But the emphasis is very much on 'starting.'
As nearly as I can figure it, from their press release, what Sinclair now plans is an hourlong special which is based largely on the material from 'Stolen Honor' but also frames this in a larger 'context' of liberal media bias and how bad it is that all the other networks haven't run 'Stolen Honor' and presumably what a rough shake Sinclair's gotten for trying to run 'Stolen Honor.' That's balance.
Read the press release and tell me if you think I've got it wrong. Don't miss CEO David Smith's comments toward the bottom.
That, to put it mildly, doesn't cut it.
Sinclair is trying to wriggle and whine out of the mess they've gotten themselves into by violating their journalistic responsibilities, and public responsibilities as holders of public broadcast licenses, by running an anti-Kerry infomercial as a news show just ten days before the election.
Smith has classified the outrage and actions Sinclair's decision has spawned as so many "misguided attempts by a small but vocal minority."
He doesn't mention, of course, that that 'small but vocal minority' includes the man whom until yesterday Sinclair considered a respectable enough fellow to have as their DC Bureau chief.
Everything we've seen from the Sinclair folks -- and, by this, I mean the executives, not its many employees around the country -- over the last ten days marks them as reckless clowns, with brass knuckles and pretty poor business men to boot.
The logical interpretation of what's happened in the last week is that they believe they'll make up for whatever losses they sustain through regulatory, or rather deregulatory, payback after the election. Their barely disguised motives have been most clearly evidenced by their manner of using their offer of 'equal time' to Kerry as a form of gleefully public extortion.
In theory, what Sinclair now describes could be a fair-minded look at Kerry's time as a Vietnam war protestor. But look who we're dealing with? Based on their track record, their claims don't give me a lot of confidence. Their latest gambit seems like a prettied up attempt at the same smear by another name.
I'd love to be proven wrong. But I'm not too hopeful.