Letter to Sinclair Broadcasting

From John McCain:

I write to strongly protest your decision to instruct Sinclair’s ABC affiliates to preempt this evening’s Nightline program. I find deeply offensive Sinclair’s objection to Nightline’s intention to broadcast the names and photographs of Americans who gave their lives in service to our country in Iraq.

I supported the President’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and remain a strong supporter of that decision. But every American has a responsibility to understand fully the terrible costs of war and the extraordinary sacrifices it requires of those brave men and women who volunteer to defend the rest of us; lest we ever forget or grow insensitive to how grave a decision it is for our government to order Americans into combat. It is a solemn responsibility of elected officials to accept responsibility for our decision and its consequences, and, with those who disseminate the news, to ensure that Americans are fully informed of those consequences.

Viewers of ABC affiliates owned by Sinclair Broadcasting will not hear tonight’s Fallen, which Nightline says “will pay tribute to all the American servicemen and women who have died in Iraq by devoting the entire broadcast to reading their names and showing their photographs.”

The statment on Sinclair’s web page says, “the action [Koppel’s plan to read the names of the dead] appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq.” For some other things Sinclair Broadcasting stands for, see this overview from the Center for American Progress.

You may now rant about media consolidation.