FCC SAYS IT WON'T BLOCK ANTI-KERRY TV PROGRAM
The Federal Communications Commission won't intervene to stop a broadcast company's plans to air a critical documentary about senator John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities on dozens [try at least 62 outlets] TV stations, the agency's chairman said Thursday.
"Don't look to us to block the airing of a program," Michael Powell said. "I don't know of any precedent in which the commission could do that."
Eighteen senators, all Democrats, wrote to Powell this week and asked him to investigate Sinclair Broadcast Group's plan to run the program, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," two weeks before the November 2nd election.
Powell said there are no federal rules that would allow the agency to prevent the program. "I think that would be an absolute disservice to the First Amendment, and I think it would be unconstitutional if we attempted to do so," he said.
Sinclair, based outside Baltimore, has asked its 62 television stations - many of them in competitive states in the presidential election - to pre-empt regular programming to run the documentary. It chronicles Kerry's 1971 testimony before Congress and links him to activist and actress Jane Fonda. It includes interviews with Vietnam prisoners of war and their wives who claim Kerry's testimony demeaned them and led their captors to hold them longer.
The story neglects to explain that the CEO of Sinclair has already contributed the maximum monetary amount to the Bush campaign and the Republican party and that forcing the airing of this "documentary" is a transparent effort to make an additinal contribution to the campaign.
Imagine the screaming from Republicans if a comparable network announced its plans to air Fahrenheit 9/11 in 62 affiliate stations two weeks before the election.
We need to make a HUGE stink about this nasty business. Don't bother writing to Sinclair . . . they don't care. Write your congressmen and women and write the FCC.
Powell is so far in the pocket of these mega-broadcast people that a hankerchief has more clearance than he does.