Thursday, October 14, 2004

Al Franken was on the radio yesterday saying that it's wrong for Sinclair broadcasting to order their TV stations to broadcast the anti-Kerry "documentary" because it's an in-kind contribution from the broadcasters to the Bush campaign.

He's dead wrong.

It's wrong for them to broadcast the thing because it's blatant slander. The "Swift Boat Veterans" began with claims about Kerry's service in Vietnam which have since been exposed as blatant lies -- my personal favorite is Larry Thurlow claiming that there was "no hostile fire" on a mission where both Kerry and Thurlow were awarded medals, and damage reports show Thurlow's boat came back with bullet holes. And the central charge of this movie -- that Kerry's testimony before the Senate somehow lent "aid and comfort" to the North Vietnamese, or worsened their treatment of American POWs -- doesn't even pass the laugh test. Kerry was testifying after the My Lai trial -- heck, after "free fire zones" had been official, acknowledged Army policy -- so the fact that atrocities had occured against civilians was absolutely no secret to anybody. These guys are liars, who have sacrificed their honor for sleazy political cheap shots, and the slime rubs off on everyone who willingly goes near them.

The broadcast shouldn't happen because it's slanderous, not because it's political. As Franken ought to know. On his show's recent tour, he wound up every live broadcast with a stemwinder speech urging his live audience to get out and work for the Democrats. If politically partisan broadcasts get treated as "in-kind contributions", he's off the air.


Blogger Ginger said...

Al Franken isn't saying his encouragement to work for Democrats isn't news, though.

That's the problem with the Sinclair broadcasts. They're being aired as news. If the Sinclair people want to broadcast propaganda as news, they need to go buy cable channels like Rupert Murdoch or newspapers like the Moonies, because broadcasting them as news violates their broadcast license agreements.

9:32 AM  
Blogger charles said...

After the demise of the fairness doctrine, news broadcasters are free to make their news broadcasts as slanted as they like. Franken certainly does -- quite a few of his stock bits, like "The Oy Oy Oy Show", are stylized ways of presenting news which is invariably unfavorable to the Bush administration. The difference between that and "Stolen Honor" isn't that "Stolen Honor" is more explicitly political -- it's not; it never says "vote for Bush". The difference between Franken and the Swift Vets as that his facts are facts.

11:16 AM  

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