Monday, October 18, 2004

BlogClip: The sins of Sinclair


I don't always agree with Ron Davis, but he's one of my favorite bloggers (and prior to that one of my favorite columnists in my former home of Springfield, Missouri). I disagree heartily enough with his blog entry on the Sinclair Group's broadcast of an anti-Kerry film to mention it here.

Davis is upset about an editorial in the Springfield News-Leader by Robert Leger. I've worked with Leger before as an op-ed writer (he's the paper's editorial page editor, as well as a dead ringer for Boo Boo on that cartoon about bears at JellyStone Park) and as a community representative on the News-Leader's editorial board. I don't always agree with him, either, but he's level-headed and he got this one right: "Speech should not be collared."

Yes, the movie is anti-Kerry propaganda.

So?

Davis has a thing about the airwaves being "public" and this making the situation different, in principle, from a newspaper op-ed or even a movie screened in theatres or sold on DVD (Hello, Michael Moore).

That doesn't fly with me. If the problem is that the airwaves are public, let's privatize them. Speech is either free or it isn't. Streetcorners are public, too, but Davis would never suggest that the FCC regulate his old column in the News-Leader, sold on those streetcorners, for that reason. And if the American people don't have the brains to sort out the propaganda and then sift the real facts from it, Sinclair Group is just a symptom, not the problem.

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