Federal Communications Commission member Michael Copps blasted Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.’s plan to air an anti-John Kerry film next week on dozens of stations, some of them based in key presidential swing states.
“This is an abuse of the public trust,” said Copps, a Democrat appointed by President George W. Bush, in a prepared statement. “And it is proof positive of media ownership run amok when one owner can use public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology, whether liberal or conservative.”
If Kerry wins the election, Copps might be named interim chairman of the agency or nominated to serve as chairman, which would require Senate confirmation.
According to published reports, Sinclair is planning to air on its 62 stations a film called Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal, a decidedly negative look at Kerry when he returned from Vietnam in 1971 as a veteran who opposed the war.
Sinclair spokesman Mark Hyman was quoted as saying that Kerry was invited to appear on the broadcast, perhaps in an effort to satisfy federal equal-time policies, although it was unclear whether those rules would actually apply.
A Kerry campaign spokesman was quoted as saying that Kerry would not accept Sinclair’s offer to appear.