Sinclair Broadcasting plans to air a program over its 62 stations, based on a documentary critical of John Kerry’s anti-war activism. Excerpts from Brit Hume’s interview with Mark Hyman, V.P. Corporate Relations for Sinclair Broadcasting:

MARK HYMAN: […] We’ve decided to produce a 60-minute program that is going to deal with specific allegations made by these Vietnam POWs. So far, nothing is scripted. There’s nothing that’s been finalized. We’ve only invited one person to join us, that’s Senator John Kerry. So far, nothing has been shot. There is an existing documentary, which provides the basis for these allegations. This is where these allegations are made, but there’s nothing else that’s been done. So complaints about content about a program that doesn’t even exist is like complaining about a referee’s call in a game that has not yet been played. There’s nothing to complain about.  […]

HUME: […] we heard a little bit from the Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton earlier. I want to get your reaction to something else that Chad Clanton said, if we can.


[KERRY SPOKESMAN: CHAD] CLANTON: I think they’re going to regret doing this, and they better hope we don’t win.


HUME: Now, Clanton went on to say when questioned, that that there wasn’t a threat. However, how do you interpret that?

HYMAN: I’m at a loss for words, almost. It certainly sounded like a threat. And for a campaign official for a presidential candidate to imply that they might use something, such as the independent regulatory process of the FCC, to exact revenge against media organizations that they find to be enemies or not supportive of their cause, is just astounding. And it’s something that should cause concern for every media organization in the country, if this is going to be a precedent for this campaign or any other campaign should they win.

HUME: And the two complaints that have been filed about this program that is, as you point out, a work in progress, one says, of course, that it’s an improper political contribution. And the other says that it is a violation or an improper use of the public airwaves. Your reaction to that charge — those charges.

HYMAN: Well, I understand there have been some suggestions that if there’s information in this program that might be unflattering toward John Kerry that it should be considered an in-kind contribution to George Bush. Using that same logic, or that same reasoning, that would suggest that every bomb from here on forward that goes off in Iraq that’s reported in the news, should be considered an in-kind contribution to John Kerry. The notion is absurd.

The news is what it is. It’s going to be good, it’s going to be positive, it’s going to be negative. It’s going to have all sorts of effects on candidates always. And when the news comes out, it ought to be reported. There shouldn’t be a moratorium based on legitimate news, just because it may or may not affect one candidate or the other. That’s just absurd. [FOX News, “Special Report With Brit Hume:Why Does Sinclair Broadcasting Want to Air Anti-Kerry Film?” October 12, 2004]

Also FOX reports: “FCC Chairman Michael Powell said Thursday the federal agency would not block Sinclair from airing the program, noting that the commission has never taken such action and that no rules allow it to prevent the broadcast. On Tuesday, the Democratic National Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission contending that airing the film should be considered an illegal in-kind contribution to the Bush campaign.”

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