In A Flip-Flop, Sinclair Sinks Partisan Swift Boat Docu-Nam-er, Floats Campaign News 'Special'
Following one bonehead move after another, pro-President Bush broadcasting group Sinclair finally did - to quote U2 - something "even better than the real thing."
After a week-and-a-half of insisting on airing an anti-Kerry documentary funded openly by anti-Kerry Pennsylvania Vietnam Veterans group, Sinclair has pulled back. Instead it plans to air perhaps a more appropriate "news special," titled "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure, and the Media." The special will focus on the use of documentaries and other media during elections. That actually makes sense.
Good move No. 2: Rather than having an outside partisan journalist anchor the show, Sinclair is having one of its own station news reporters host the program, Jeff Barnd, who is anchor of the 10 p.m. newscast on Sinclair flagship WBFF in Baltimore.
All this is to be applauded. And though it's rather late in coming, journalists and columnists should lay down arms against Sinclair. No doubt some astute financial executive at Sinclair weighed the implications for Sinclair's balance sheet and decided an ironic Republican "flip-flop" was in order.
The company's stock price dropped more than 11 percent in the last two days to a 52-week low. Praise should go to this Sinclair executive who told higher-ups that, not only was the FCC going to come down hard on the station group, but that advertisers were starting to rebel, according to reports.
That may have started the bells ringing.
A possible loss of ad revenues is something that makes shareholders and financial executives snap to attention. A broadcasting executive may have a strong political point of view, but in no way should it come at the cost of the bottom line.
That is just foolish for his company and his bottom... line.