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ABCs Nightline Program 'The Fallen' not to be aired in several markets


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Former Game Champion
  • What do you guys think of this?
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    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Statement of Sinclair Broadcast Group[/font]
    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The ABC Television Network announced on Tuesday that the Friday, April 30 edition of "Nightline" will consist entirely of Ted Koppel reading aloud the names of U.S. servicemen and women killed in action in Iraq. Despite the denials by a spokeswoman for the show the action appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq. While the Sinclair Broadcast Group honors the memory of the brave members of the military who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country, we do not believe such political statements should be disguised as news content. As a result, we have decided to preempt the broadcast of "Nightline' this Friday on each of our stations which air ABC programming. We understand that our decision in this matter may be questioned by some. Before you judge our decision, however, we would ask that you first question Mr. Koppel as to why he chose to read the names of 523 troops killed in combat in Iraq, rather than the names of the thousands of private citizens killed in terrorist attacks since and including the events of September 11, 2001. In his answer, we believe you will find the real motivation behind his action scheduled for this Friday[/font]

    Not sure what to make of it myself. Seems like the consorship is more politically motivated than the program itself. Is the Vietnam Memorial a political statement?​
    Main Entry: <SUP>2</SUP>censor
    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): cen·sored; cen·sor·ing /<TT>'sen(t)-s&-ri[ng], 'sen(t)s-ri[ng]</TT>/
    : to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable
    Okay, so what do you think of Sinclair's choice not to broadcast the program, Nixon? Just curious.
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    1. A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.
    2. An official, as in the armed forces, who examines personal mail and official dis
    patches to remove information considered secret or a risk to security.

    "Censorship" is a loaded word. Sinclair can choose to broadcast whatever they please.

    I haven't seen the program, so I don't know what it is like. It is possible that it will be presented in an anti-war light, and it is possible that it will not be. These folks have their opinion and have chosen to act on it.
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    I am disturbed by the media owner's pulling the show based on political beliefs (either his or the shows). He's well within his rights as a business owner to determine what the stations he controls will or won't show, but where does that leave the consumer if there was no other choice? I think this is a good arguement for those saying that one media corporation should not have ownership of too many stations. I'm all for allowing many voices in order to prevent one person from controlling what I do and don't hear.
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    From ABCs website:

    April 30 <!-- FirstParagraph -->— At the end of one of the most deadly months since the military operation began in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:country-region><ST1:place>Iraq</ST1:place></st1:country-region>, ABCNEWS' Nightline will pay tribute to all the American servicemen and women who have died in <st1:country-region><ST1:place>Iraq</ST1:place></st1:country-region> by devoting the entire broadcast to reading their names and showing their photographs.<O:p></O:p>

    Using photographs and information drawn from the Army Times Publishing Company's online "Faces of Valor" database, Nightline will show a picture of each serviceman and woman in succession with their name, military branch, rank and age. <O:p></O:p>

    Expanded by 10 minutes from its usual half-hour, Nightline will include more than 500 killed in action in <st1:country-region><ST1:place>Iraq</ST1:place></st1:country-region> since <st1:date Month="3" Day="19" Year="2003">March 19, 2003</st1:date>, as well as 200-plus non-combat deaths. <O:p></O:p>

    Nightline executive producer Leroy Sievers, said that the program is their "way of reminding our viewers — whether they agree with the war or not — that beyond the casualty numbers, these men and women are serving in <st1:country-region><ST1:place>Iraq</ST1:place></st1:country-region> in our names, and that those who have been killed have names and faces." <O:p></O:p>

    The program has sparked a war of words as critics claim the special 40-minute program is anti-war. While Nightline calls it a "tribute," Sinclair Broadcast Group, a Maryland-based media company whose holdings include 62 TV stations, is pre-empting Nightline on its eight ABC affiliates, including stations in Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis, Mo.; and Charleston, W.Va. <O:p></O:p>

    The company said today's program "appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the <st1:country-region><ST1:place>United States</ST1:place></st1:country-region> in <st1:country-region><ST1:place>Iraq</ST1:place></st1:country-region>." <O:p></O:p>

    Nightline's anchor Ted Koppel, who will read the names of the fallen aloud, said "it's not implicitly anti-war" on ABC's Good Morning America today. "I think it's an appropriate thing to do." <O:p></O:p>

    "I'm not suggesting that people in this country don't know what's happening, but I think that periodically it is not unreasonable to remind everyone of who these young people are and what they look like," said Koppel. <O:p></O:p>

    Initially, due to time constaints of a 30-minute program, Nightline was only planning to read the names of the servicemen and women who were killed in combat. <O:p></O:p>

    But a father called in whose son was wounded in combat, decorated for bravery but was later killed coming back from the front lines when his truck flipped. He asked why his son was not worthy of being mentioned. After talking to him, the decision was made to extend the broadcast to include non-combat deaths. <O:p></O:p>

    "It hit us so hard when he said that that we went to the network and said, 'can you give us an extra 10 minutes?'" said Koppel. <O:p></O:p>

    The program, titled "The Fallen," will air Friday, April 30, at <st1:time Hour="23" Minute="35">11:35 p.m. ET</st1:time> on the ABC Television Network. <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype class=inlineimg id=_x0000_t75 title=\"stick out tongue 1\" src="http://www.buckeyeplanet.com/forum/images/smilies/4/tongue.gif" stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" alt="" border="0" o:p</v:shapetype>referrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><V:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></V:path><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock><v:shape id=_x0000_i1025 style="WIDTH: 7.5pt; HEIGHT: 7.5pt" type="#_x0000_t75" alt=""><v:imagedata class=inlineimg title=\"Big Grin\" src="file:///C<img src=" images alt="" border="0" biggrin.gif? smilies forum www.buckeyeplanet.com http: smilieid="4"></v:imagedata>OCUME~1MikeCLOCALS~1Tempmsohtml1\01clip_image001.gif" o:href="http://a.abcnews.com/images/aquadot.gif"></v:shape><O:p></O:p>
    I guess I got in trouble with Nixon for calling it censorship. And no, Sinclair cannot broadcast what they please. Just ask Janet Jackson :p

    <edit> yuck, sorry 'bout the badly pasted article
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    I think that this is a very valid argument on behalf of ABC. Why should soldiers who have died for the United States.....willing and unwilling be swept under the radar? Tillman did a very noble thing by stepping out of the NFL and entering a tough battle, but what makes his death any more noble than others? Yesterday I saw news on his bodies' arrival to the United States, yet they censor the arrival of "normal" fallen soldiers? It just seems like total bullshit in my book. In my mind they are all heroes and they deserve to be recognized by those that they are fighting for. Political motivation????? I think that it is politically motivated to keep this off the air.

    I guess that we should keep the death and names of American soldiers private, God knows we wouldn't want any Americans to question the ordeal in Iraq.......They would be considered politically motivated.........this is total and complete Bullshit.
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    It is not censorship. Censorship is an action of the government.

    Bullshit. They are choosing to not broadcast a show that they otherwise normally would, solely becuase they disagree with the content. In fact, their actions completely match your first definition of censorship, which is:

    1. A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable.

    They are suppressing (in this case, not broadcasting) what they "considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable."
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    "A person authorized"

    The only thing that authorizes them to do this is their right as a business owner.

    Technically, it may be censorship. But censorship in and of itself is not an inherently evil thing. If that college paper would have refused to print that Tillman-bashing piece, that would have been censorship too.

    Usually, when people use the word "censorship", they want to make it out to be a negative, or imply that the government is doing it. You may or may not think this company is making the right decision, but they have every right in the world to do it, and just because it is "censorship" does not automatically make it a bad thing.
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    so now we agree this IS censorship even if its not being done BY the government it does have political motivation. and granted it IS this businesses right to censor it. but as many of you said about the pepsi can, it is also our right not to subscribe to their product. personally unless the information being censored would in some way cause physical harm so someone i dont see how ANY censorship IS a good thing nixon.. like boro said, regardless of whether i agree with what is said i do believe i should at least have access to all view points and perspectives to make my decision..
    similarly i am equally upset with the administrations refusal to let pictures be taken of coffins returning from iraq, so what if it hurts war sentiment? isnt refusing to let us see what is happening in order to persuade us just another way to control our thoughts?
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    FCollinsBuckeye said:
    What do you guys think of this?

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    Not sure what to make of it myself. Seems like the consorship is more politically motivated than the program itself. Is the Vietnam Memorial a political statement?​
    Bad analogy.

    The Vietnam Memorial was NOT constructed DURING the conflict.

    Those who have died trying to complete the mission could only be insulted more by not completing the mission.

    Want to honor the dead? Finish the job.

    As for the "censorship" issue, Sinclair has as much right to pre-empt the broadcast as ABC has to run it. The First Amendment guarantees a right to free speech, but it does NOT grant the right to use the airwaves to do it. Sinclair isn't preventing ABC from saying what they want, they simply refuse to provide ABC a forum, and they have every right to make that decision.

    Calling Sinclair's decision a violation of ABC's right to free speech is a red herring.
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    Bad analogy.

    The Vietnam Memorial was NOT constructed DURING the conflict.
    Good point, Buckeyehead. You're absolutely right. It just popped into my head as nearly the same thing, i.e. a list of those killed in the conflict. But the timing was quite different.

    Another point that has been brought up is the restriction of public display of photographs of coffins returning from the Middle East. The administration has frequently cited the 'long standing' official government policy not to allow photographing or publication of these images. However, I saw the other day that this 'long standing' policy was begun in 1991 by George H.W. Bush during Operation Desert Storm. It is clearly 'bad press' for the war effort if images of rows of coffins returning from overseas is available to the public week after week. But is this policy truly motivated as a way to honor the fallen? Or are they merely stiffling these images to avoid anti-war sentiments? Some times I wonder...
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    actually nixon i wasnt even argueing that, i dont think the tv station has any obligation to do that, i just dont like it.. :wink: the government isnt saying no so im not actually saying something is wrong here, just saying that i dont like censorship. although as a capatalist country it does seem to be in a tv stations best intrest to play what the people want to see.. unless of course the owners of said station are benefitting from their political support in some way or another... hmm i wonder..
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