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GUEST,peedeecee BS: Sinclair breaking the law (59* d) RE: BS: Sinclair breaking the law 19 Oct 04

Well, someone at Sinclair has integrity. Jon Leiberman may no longer have a job by the time you read this, but someone will hire him and be lucky to have him. He has spoken out against Sinclair's intention to show the anti-Kerry film -- not for what the film states, but for the way the network is planning to show it: propaganda as "news."

"It's biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election," said Jon Leiberman, Sinclair's lead political reporter for more than a year. "For me, it's not about right or left -- it's about what's right or wrong in news coverage this close to an election."

Leiberman spoke out yesterday after a mandatory staff meeting attended by Sinclair's corporate news division at company headquarters in Hunt Valley.

"I have nothing to gain here -- and really, I have a lot to lose," Leiberman said. "At the end of the day, though, all you really have is your credibility."

Sinclair staffers were told the show would be presented as news, not opinion, Leiberman said.

Some industry analysts have decried Sinclair's plans. "People in the news business are supposed to present both sides of the story," said American University communications professor Jane Hall, a media critic for Fox News Watch. "They are not supposed to have an agenda. They are not supposed to want to affect the outcome of the election with something they label news."

Leiberman said he was anguished by his decision to speak out. But, he said, the influence of commentator Mark Hyman and Chief Executive David D. Smith has been devastating. "There is going to be a concerted effort on the part of my colleagues to make this as balanced a program as they can," Leiberman said. "But the selection of the material -- dumping it on the news department, and giving them four days, and running it this close to the election -- it's indefensible, in my opinion."

Leiberman said he told Sinclair's vice president for news, Joseph DeFeo, that he would not contribute to the program and that DeFeo suggested the reporter could lose his job.

Good for him! Unfortunately, I can't make a link, as this piece was published in the Baltimore Sun, which requires a subscription. Perhaps an online search will bring up another source for the story.

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