What are they afraid of?
What are they afraid of?
I am genuinely perplexed by the reaction of Sinclair Broadcasting Group to tonight's Nightline. I'm even more perplexed by calls to read the names of the 9/11 dead instead.
I honestly don't get this reaction.
Those Americans died in the service of their country. What is so wrong about reading the names of those killed in Iraq, whether in combat or in accidents, which Nightline expanded to do, after several parents called to ask why their loved ones were excluded.
I don't see this as any more political as the ceremonies for the opening of the WWII Memeorial on the Mall. I never knew that an accounting of war dead would harm the president and was "anti-war". Most sane people are against war.
But because they are so afraid that people might link our retreat in Fallujah, the general mayhem in Iraq and 724 dead, to Bush's failure to control the situation, they have to dishonor the American dead like this. And make no mistake, they are dishonoring the dead, denying their families the small comfort of seeing their loved ones honored on national TV.
If reading all the names is an anti-war statement, then it's an anti-war statement. If it isn't, it isn't. What it is to me is an acknowledgement of their sacrifice.
But the naked fear of Sinclair's bosses and their conservative allies is quite telling. They were just saying a month ago that casualities didn't matter. That it was less than those that died on Omaha Beach, or living in California. That Americans would take casualities to support the war on terror.
But when called on their bullshit, and faced with the real names of real people, most of who weren't even old enough to drink, they turn tail and cry politics. When their families were crying for their loss, they minimized it and used macho talk to excuse their callousness. Now, when faced with reality, all 724 people are really dead, they ran like the cowards they are.
If reading the names of the war dead is bad for Bush, so be it. It shouldn't be an excuse for the cowardice of Sinclair Broadcasting Group's naked and disrepectful politics.
Note:John McCain sent a letter to Sinclair today:
MCCAIN LETTER TO SINCLAIR BROADCAST ON PREEMPTION OF NIGHTLINE
For Immediate Release
Friday, Apr 30, 2004
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) issued the following letter today to Mr. David Smith, President and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, in response to the preemption of this evening’s Nightline program:
I write to strongly protest your decision to instruct Sinclair’s ABC affiliates to preempt this evening’s Nightline program. I find deeply offensive Sinclair’s objection to Nightline’s intention to broadcast the names and photographs of Americans who gave their lives in service to our country in Iraq.
I supported the President’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and remain a strong supporter of that decision. But every American has a responsibility to understand fully the terrible costs of war and the extraordinary sacrifices it requires of those brave men and women who volunteer to defend the rest of us; lest we ever forget or grow insensitive to how grave a decision it is for our government to order Americans into combat. It is a solemn responsibility of elected officials to accept responsibility for our decision and its consequences, and, with those who disseminate the news, to ensure that Americans are fully informed of those consequences.
There is no valid reason for Sinclair to shirk its responsibility in what I assume is a very misguided attempt to prevent your viewers from completely appreciating the extraordinary sacrifices made on their behalf by Americans serving in Iraq. War is an awful, but sometimes necessary business. Your decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war’s terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. I hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly deserves.
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posted by Steve @ 11:31:00 AM