by Scoobie Davis
Quick Notes On The Sinclair Machine
Friday night's Stolen Honor broadcast on Sinclair stations was largely a bust--the Freepers were pissed. This just in: Elizabeth Jensen and Walter F. Roche Jr have a comprehensive article on Sinclair in today's Los Angeles Times--it is titled, "Sinclair's Growth Matched by Criticism." Some excerpts:
Located 16 miles from downtown Baltimore in Cockeysville, in an area made fragrant by a spice plant, Sinclair's brick-and-black-glass five-story headquarters stands out on the horizon, the Sinclair name in two-foot-high letters atop the building. A few feet away sits the local headquarters of the Bush-Cheney campaign, to which Sinclair's owners and executives have contributed. This election cycle, Sinclair executives have given nearly $68,000, 97% of it to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which documents campaign contributions. In other years they have given more, as in the 2000 campaigns, when they donated nearly $178,000, 98% of it to Republicans. . .
Sinclair contends that centralizing operations allows newscasts by stations that otherwise couldn't afford to offer them. In an interview with The Times this year, Mark Hyman, the company's spokesman, said that since its "News Central" launched — with national news produced in Baltimore and local news wrapped around it — Sinclair has hired 350 news employees and launched 13 newscasts on stations that didn't previously carry news. Hyman hasn't returned recent calls.
In the May interview, Hyman said "News Central" presented a "very balanced view."
"The reason why some on the left characterized us as conservatives is we run stories that others in the media spike," he said. One example he singled out at the time was a news conference by a group, little known at the time, that called itself Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Over the summer, it emerged as one of Kerry's most powerful critics, pouring millions of dollars into ads attacking him. The Swift boat group, whose claims have been largely discredited by eyewitnesses and military records, has since allied itself with former Vietnam POWs who appear in the anti-Kerry film "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," five minutes of which were incorporated into the Sinclair broadcast Friday night.