Thursday, April 29, 2004

Contrary to the public interest
By now you have probably heard that ABC's Nightline is planning to dedicate their entire Friday program to reading the names of the American soldiers who have died in combat in Iraq while showing their pictures.
Nightline" executive producer Leroy Sievers said: "We realized that the casualties were on their way to becoming just numbers."

"'The Fallen' is our way of reminding our viewers -- whether they agree with the war or not -- that beyond the casualty numbers, these men and women are serving in Iraq in our names. and that those who have been killed have names and faces," said Sievers.

"It is purely a tribute," [A "Nightline" spokeswoman] said, adding that "Nightline" had been working closely with the Army Times Publishing Company which has a database of names and photographs of troops killed in action.

Army Times is not a liberal rag and would not participate in something like this if they felt it did anything other than honor the sacrifice of their comrades. No doubt, this will be powerful, memorable TV and as such it will also be controversial.

Many people have a very low tolerance for controversy. Among the lowest are our corporate citizens. Sinclair Broadcast Group has ordered its ABC-affiliated stations not to carry the show. Sinclair's General Counsel, Barry Faber, say only, "We find it to be contrary to the public interest." This is craven cowardice of the first rank.

The affected stations are:
  • KDNL St, Louis, MO
  • WSYX Columbus, OH
  • WLOS Greenville/Spartansburg, NC
  • WXLV Greensboro, NC
  • WCHS Charleston, WV
  • WEAR Mobile, AL
  • WGGB Springfield, MA
  • WTXL Tallahassee, FL

I'm digusted, but not surprised.

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