Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Help Stop Sinclair 

It is very important that everyone help out with this Sinclair effort. The thing to do is find out if there is a Sinclair affiliate in your area, watch it, write down the advertisers you see, and then use this database to write to the advertisers politely threatening boycott.

There is no Sinclair affiliate in my area. But I used this function where you can send your letter automatically to all the advertisers in the national market. (You can also send your letter automatically to all of the advertisers in any of the local markets.) Here's my letter--feel free to use it if you don't feel like writing your own:

Dear Sir or Madam,

As you may have heard, the owners of the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns at least one of the local TV affiliates with whom you advertise, has made an egregious decision to force their affiliate stations to pre-empt their regular prime-time programming and air a 90-minute anti-Kerry smear film, titled "Stolen Honor," in the days running up to the national election. While I respect the right of everyone to freely express their political views, I believe the actions of the Sinclair Broadcast Group constitute a major violation of both our campaign finance laws and FCC regulations. Not only does the programming constitutes a massive, undocumented contribution to the Bush re-election campaign, but FCC-licensed stations are required to provide balanced electoral coverage, not run free 90-minute campaign ads. Senator McCain worked to pass his campaign finance bill to prevent just this kind of thing--a corporation abusing its powers in an attempt to unfairly and illegally disrupt the democratic process.

Don't get me wrong--if the TV stations themselves want to air the anti-Kerry propaganda film, that is a decision for their programming directors to make. But the networks do not want to air it. They are being forced to air it by their corporate owners, unabashed political partisans who are improperly using their publicly-held assets for a personal political agenda.

Because of this unfortunate decision by Sinclair Broadcasting, I must respectfully ask that you stop all paid advertising on Sinclair-owned affiliates. If you do not stop advertising with Sinclair-owned affiliates, I will have to make the decision to permanently boycott your products and/or services. I will ask that all of my friends, family members, and co-workers do the same. I host a website which receives several hundred visits per day, and I will ask that all of my readers boycott your products and/or services.

But please, I don't want that, and neither do you. Please pull your advertising from Sinclair-owned stations, and help us show the Sinclair Broadcast Group that we value our legal system and democratic process, and will not tolerate its abuse. It is very important to all of us that this election be conducted fairly and properly, no matter who you happen to support.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.




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