Watchdog Group to File Petitions Against Sinclair

Nov 1, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The watchdog Free Press announced Monday that it is filing petitions to deny Sinclair Broadcast Group TV station licenses in North Carolina and South Carolina, alleging among other things that the group broadcaster is operating illegal duopolies in Asheville, N.C., and Charleston, S.C.

In a statement, the group said the controversy over Sinclair’s aborted plan to air “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,” a documentary critical of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry’s antiwar activity during the Vietnam era, just before the election “illustrates Sinclair’s intent to use its privileged access to the public airwaves to pursue its own political agenda, no matter what the cost may be to the interests of local viewers.”

Said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press: “Sinclair is the poster child for abuse of the public airwaves. Sinclair has a pattern of ignoring or avoiding FCC regulations, combining a unique blend of self-serving, right-wing ideology with lawless behavior that requires the FCC to take action.”

At deadline, Mark Hyman, Sinclair VP for corporate communications, had not returned telephone calls seeking comment on the Free Press action.