It's not news that 'freedom of the press belongs to he who owns one'. And even in this Internet age of 'everyone a publisher' the fact remains that TV remains the dominant media form in the US, and much of the world.
Sinclair media's decision to abuse its ownership of a group of stations to air a low-quality anti-Kerry propaganda film a few days before the election — to order the stations to dump network programming and run junk instead — is a classic abuse of power.
What's interesting is how Internet users are fighting back. Some, like Ernest Miller, are writing about the context — how the current regulatory climate lacks the safeguards that used to prevent such a blatant abuse of power.
Others are concentrating on how to fight back. One set of ideas comes via Kevin Hayden, suggesting a national pushback aimed at Sinclair's national advertisers. This is a good strategy if you don't live in one of the affected communities.
Another method appears via Kevin Drum, and emphasizes the local angle. I think it's a winner.
I have another post up on it, but the serious boycott effort is taking hold at Daily Kos and Josh Marshall is doing a great job tracking developments, too. It appears that Sinclair has a stake in the outcome of the election according to a USA Today story today, so their stake in it is big and it’s not about Kerry’s service at all.
Also, the Anti-Defamation League has challenged some of the analogies corporate spokespeople are making, as Sinclair digs its hole deeper.