Liberal groups launch anti-Sinclair campaign

December 14, 2004|By DAVID ZURAWIK

A coalition of liberal public interest groups today will announce a campaign against Hunt Valley-based Sinclair Broadcast Group for what it terms "continued misuse of the public airwaves." The group will urge major Sinclair advertisers - Kraft, Staples, Target, Geico, McDonald's and Sprint - to join the effort "to encourage Sinclair to balance the content" of its news programming.

"The campaign aims to spur action against Sinclair Broadcast Group's use of the 62 television stations it owns or operates to systematically promote partisan political interests," the group, led by Media Matters of America, says in a posting at www.sinclairaction.com.

"Of particular concern is a nightly `news and commentary' segment titled `The Point,' in which Sinclair vice president Mark Hyman consistently espouses one-sided, conservative rhetoric without any counterpoint," the statement says.

Other members of the coalition include Free Press, The Institute for America's Future, MoveOn.org, MediaChannel.org, AlterNet and Robert Greenwald, director of the documentary Outfoxed, which criticized the Fox News Channel for its coverage.

The group wants equal time on Sinclair's airwaves: "a meaningful opportunity for those with an opposing point of view to respond to editions of `The Point.'"

Phone calls to Sinclair and the coalition were not returned last night. A telephone news conference to announce the campaign is set for today.

- David Zurawik

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