Sinclair decision should come as no surprise

I’ve resisted commenting on Sinclair Broadcasting’s attempt to influence the Presidential election by airing a pro-Bush documentary on its 62 stations Friday night, because I wanted the whole thing to play out more. Besides, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to judging the rightness or wrongness of the decision, and I think it’s really irrelevant anyway. Yes, they are a corporation with a strong desire to have the President re-elected. Yes, they’re using their muscle to influence the election (but that’s really old news, because that’s been happening in “the media” since day one). Yes, the move is bully-like. Yes, they’ve demonstrated lack of tact (and class) in firing an employee who spoke out against it. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Evil, thy name is Sinclair.

But the real story here is what happens after the election and how this decision further taints ALL mainstream media (MSM) and widens the gap between MSMers and the everyday people they’re supposed to serve. This move by Sinclair is so transparent that even a blind man can see through it. But it comes on top of RatherGate, Fox News and countless other recent public embarrassments. It screams for all the world to hear that fairness isn’t a part of the media anymore (was it ever?), much less objectivity. The train of self destruction that’s roaring through town keeps picking up passengers, regardless of whether they choose to get onboard or not.

And that means the decline and fall of the mainstream press in America is inevitable. It is so, because the whole thing is sleight-of-hand anyway, and the people aren’t as stupid as we once thought. If you cannot see this happening, you are in denial. The very people complaining about Sinclair now are those who’ve participated in the same thing on many different levels and in many different ways. The system is corrupt, not Sinclair. Hell, they’re just players, and anybody who thinks otherwise simply hasn’t read history.

The press doesn’t have the right to judge journalism anymore. That’s been transferred to the citizens, who are now armed with their own printing presses and television towers and have taken back “the public trust.” The idea that the institution of the press is self-policing has been exposed as a self-serving illusion. Those who ask if it’s too late for the media to clean up its act are missing the point. The professional media “act” has never been clean. From the famous William Randolph Hearst “Puff Graham” note that launched the career of Billy Graham to Cronkhite’s proclamation of “That’s the way it is,” the press has always been agenda-driven. That it has become glaringly obvious now should come as a surprise to no one.


  1. I wonder if Sinclair would have broadcast this program had Fahrenheit 9/11 never been made.

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