Tonight some ABC stations across the nation will be airing a special edition of the program Nightline where anchor Ted Koppel will read the names and show photos of the over 700 Americans killed in Iraq. Unfortunately, ABC affiliates owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group will be unable to see the program. The owners of Sinclair Broadcast Group, who are top contributors and political backers of George W. Bush, have claimed that by focusing on the American casualties the program promotes an anti-war agenda. CNN reports that US Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) wrote Sinclair about the controversy. His letter read:
"Your decision to deny your viewers an opportunity to be reminded of war's terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail, is a gross disservice to the public, and to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces," McCain, a Vietnam veteran, wrote in a letter to David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group. "It is, in short, sir, unpatriotic. I hope it meets with the public opprobrium it most certainly deserves."
The St. Louis ABC affiliate is owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group – that means I won’t be allowed to see the program. But ABC’s web site does list all the names they’ll be reading along with some biographical information. You can find it here.
And you can e-mail your thoughts to Sinclair Broadcast Group at these addresses.
Sinclair CEO: firstname.lastname@example.org
VP of Programming and Promotions: email@example.com