As if the broadcasting industry doesn’t have enough problems, along comes Sinclair Broadcasting’s David Smith. Good going David: You have focused negative attention back on our industry just as the Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” was fading to black. You have not only abused your power as a broadcaster, but also stood strong and stubborn, refusing to back down when you had several opportunities. What were you thinking? Did you really think with the fever pitch of this year’s election that your anti-Kerry documentary would go without challenge?
As a result, the fairness doctrine regulations of old are now being heavily discussed. The abolition of that doctrine is what gave radio Rush Limbaugh and television Bill O’Reilly. So you may essentially have created a scenario where those who support your political views will be silenced or at the very least have to give up half their time to allow for opposing viewpoints. I would compare this to shooting yourself in the foot, but it may be more appropriate to say you shot yourself in the head because there’s more.
There were already some discussions taking place on Capitol Hill to reinstate limitations on how many broadcast facilities one company can own. You have abused the power of your 62 television stations and, therefore, have fueled the fire on this issue. A vast majority of big broadcast corporations are headed by people of your political persuasion, which means you not only have hurt yourself but all your broadcast buddies as well. I bet you’re going to be real popular at the next broadcasting convention. It would appear you didn’t think this one through very well as you acted quite impulsively.