The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Boycott Sinclair!!!!

My friends know that I have been urging people to take action on Sinclair Broadcasting's completely unethical effort to air anti-Kerry propaganda days before the election on their local affiliates. Information about this is posted below.

For proof that it works -- see this article that advertisers are starting to back away from Sinclair.

Here's an email I sent to all my friends. I got the suggestion from Josh Marshall's blog (which is an excellent read by the way).

Dear Friends,

This is a mass email on an urgent matter. I urge you to read it and forward it to as many friends as you can. We need to get the word out on this. By way of background, Sinclair Broadcasting has ordered all of its 60 some affiliates to air a documentary created by the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans group several days before the election. It has ordered them to pre-empt their regularly scheduled programming to do this -- and many of its stations are major network affiliates like UPN, WB, ABC, FOX and others. The documentary is created by a man whose other claim to fame is a documentary entitled Inquisition, about, if you can believe it, the government's alleged "persecution" of the Rev Sun Myung Moon. This so called documentary is essentially 90 minutes of free advertising for the Bush campaign days from the election. Former FCC member Reed Hundt has written to Sinclair urging them to abandon this as it violates the public trust and many of the principles laid out in the FCC rules for Fair Use. (You won't see Republican lackey Michael Powell take action on this any time soon.) This is a publicly traded company mind you. So what to do?

A good person with a background in local media has come up with the following plan: Call advertisers who advertise on Sinclair and tell them you will boycott their establishment unless they withdraw advertising on Sinclair. If you live in one of the Sinclair media markets and care about the outcome of this election and about how our Democracy evolves from here for that matter, I urge you to take part in this effort. You can find out if you live in the relevant markets by clicking on the link at the bottom of this email. His idea is below:

"I’ve worked in the media business for 30 years and I guarantee you that sales is what these local TV stations are all about. They don’t care about license renewal or overwhelming public outrage. They care about sales only, so only local advertisers can affect their decisions.

"Here's how to have an impact on the local Sinclair stations: first, watch the station and make a list of all of the local advertisers. Then, write to the sales manager -- not the general manager, but the sales manager -- and tell him that you're going to contact all of the local advertisers to register a protest about the station airing this program. Be specific -- mention the names of those local advertisers. Then, actually contact them (if you write or email, cc the sales manager). These stations make most of their income (around 60%) from local advertisers and will NOT want to have that income threatened.

"This has worked numerous times. A recent example was when a local radio morning show host in North Carolina told his listeners to aim for bicyclists on the road (he was ranting about how cyclists have no right to share the roadways). The station defended him for several days amidst public outcry, until the advertisers, under pressure from outraged cyclists, began to make noise. Suddenly, the station reversed itself, suspended the host for several days, and made him do public service announcements for weeks about sharing the road with cyclists.

"This can work! I plan to start tonight!"

Media Markets of interest:
Asheville, Baltimore, Birmingham, Bloomington, Cape Girardeau, Cedar Rapids, Champaign, Charleston SC, Charleston WV, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Des Moines, Flint, Grand Island, Johnson City, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Lexington, Madisonm Milwaukeem Minneapolism Nashville, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Pensacola, Pittsburgh, Portland, Raleigh, Richmond, Rochester, San Antonio, Springfield, Springfield, St. Louis, Syracuse, Tallahassee, Tampa, West Sacramento, Winston-Salem.


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