It's Time To Do A "Sinclair" On ABC Affiliates
"It's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle."
--Disney representative on why they didn't want any part of "Fahrenheit 911" in an election year
You are no doubt aware by now that ABC plans to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9/11 in a typical conservative corporate way: by airing a piece of right wing political propaganda packaged as a docu-drama on the country's inability to stop Al Qaeda in the years leading up to 9/11. Rather than stay with the record assembled by the 9/11 Commission, the right wing producers behind this project brought aboard commission chair Tom Kean, paid him a fee to give the project some semblance of an official seal, and then put out in their advertising that the movie was based on the commission's work without getting the commission to sanction the screenplay or endorse the final movie. Kean did this because he has a son in a tight race for Senate in New Jersey who could use this publicity, but Kean has forever soiled the credibility and independence of that commission's work in tying them to this piece of propaganda.
Disney, which owns ABC, was quick to stop the distribution of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911" because it was too political. But they have no problem letting the right wing use their airwaves for this propaganda less than two months before the election and during the Bush White House's efforts to burnish their resume in the war on terror.
One of the key scenes in the movie claims that the Clinton Administration passed on a chance to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, a claim that has now been debunked by Richard Clarke, who was there at the time. You would think that Tom Kean would never sign on to a project that discredits his own work, but you would be wrong.
You can contact ABC to tell them how you feel about this attempt to use their airwaves to help the GOP. There are many other ways to deal with this, from getting the commission to confirm that they had no role in endorsing or reviewing the screenplay, to doing a "Sinclair" on the affiliates and threaten them the next time their FCC licenses come up.