|Republican owned Media group airing agitprop 2 weeks before election
||[Oct. 13th, 2004|04:10 pm]
Claudine RL Co
(I'm not entirely sure if I have any livejournal friends who are Republican; even if you were... well... not sure what to say...)|
If you lean left/ and/ or are sick of this administration/ sick of Republicans and have some time and are in the Rochester-Syracuse-Buffalo area...
We apparently have this law -- The U.S. Broadcasting Regulatory Rule, aka the "Equal Time Rule." Simply put,
...the equal opportunity provision of the Communications Act requires radio and television stations and cable systems which originate their own programming to treat legally qualified political candidates equally when it comes to selling or giving away air time. Simply put, a station which sells or gives one minute to Candidate A must sell or give the same amount of time with the same audience potential to all other candidates for the particular office.
Furthermore, federal election law "prohibits public corporations and labor unions from airing "electioneering communication" sixty days before an election."
We also have a media conglomerate like the Sinclair Broadcast Group, who owns 62 stations and has a reach of a quarter of all US households. We have Sinclair executives maxing out personal and soft-money contributions to Bush-Cheney and the RNC; indeed in the 2004 election cycle 97-98% of its contributions have gone to Repub candidates. It ranks 12th among among top radio and TV station group contributors.
So when a station like this mandates that all 62 of its affiliates pre-empt prime-time programming and air, without interruption, a 45-minute-long Anti-Kerry Swift-Boat Liar screed, 2 weeks before an election, how can that not be a violation of the law? How can that be the actions of a responsible corporate citizen interested in democracy? I guess it's really easy to forget what the word means when you have friends like Shrub to rub your back...
What you can do -- hit them where they hurt worst -- their pocketbooks. The amazing folks over at Kos and Talking Points Memo provide great resources, such as a database to find out who advertises with Sinclair affiliates, company directories to figure out who the sales associates are for the affiliates, etc ... Find out if you live in a Sinclair media market. (Those in Rochester, Syracuse & Buffalo, esp.) Watch TeeVee and use your TiVo (I know a growing number of you out there...) and find out which local advertisers buy time on the affiliates' stations. Call those advertisers and express your strong displeasure with the actions of the parent company. To help, click here or here for some sample talking points/ letters/ emails. Fire away.