Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Sinclair Broadcasting 
Sinclair is backing off, a little bit. They now say they're only going to excerpt their anti-Kerry film instead of broadcasting it in its entirety.

It's not enough. Their intent is still clear, and it has nothing to do with "news," about which they have never before given a rat's ass...

We in the NY metro area don't have any Sinclair stations to aim at, but that doesn't mean we can't use whatever power we can muster. And that means financial power - power to affect their stock price and their market capitalization - power that will go straight to the Smith family pocketbooks. Express your displeasure to the TV networks. Tell national advertisers that their presence on Sinclair outlets will affect your buying decisions. Sell mutual funds that hold Sinclair stock, and tell them why you're selling. Contact your pension funds and ask them to sell the Sinclair stock they hold.

If Sinclair were in the newspaper business instead of broadcasting, I'd leave 'em be - but they, as FCC licensees, are expected to be fair stewards of public property, i.e. the broadcast spectrum. Since the FCC itself is currently in thrall to the Republican oligarchy, the only power we citizens have in this matter is economic. Let's keep the pressure on.

I'm very ambivalent about using tactics like this, but the Republican propaganda machine has been using them, very successfully, for thirty years. It's not just the Richard Mellon Scaifes of the world who hold the cards. (Can a pair of Johns beat a handful of Jokers?) I'm too old and too cynical to believe in "the people" in the idealistic way we meant it in the '60's (and the way hopeful young people in every generation seem to) but still, Patti Smith's lyrics strike a chord that can't entirely be silenced by the passage of time and innocence:
The power to dream / to rule
to wrestle the world from fools
it's decreed the people rule
it's decreed the people rule
I believe everything we dream
can come to pass through our union
we can turn the world around
we can turn the earth's revolution
we have the power
People have the power ...

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