TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Sinclair: From Bad to Worse

Re: Sinclair: From Bad to Worse

Gene S. Berkowitz (
Fri, 22 Oct 2004 23:00:42 -0400

In article <>,

>> On Monday, Sinclair fired the head of its Washington bureau for having
>> the temerity to criticize the airing of one-sided propaganda (ironic,
>> considering Sinclair is claiming a First Amendment right to air the
>> film).

> I don't like Sinclair, but I'm afraid I can't find any irony here.
> Sinclair owns the stations -- he can put anything he wants on and hire
> or fire anyone he wants to. There is nothing in the First Amendment
> that guarantees there will be no consequences for speaking up -- it
> just guarantees the gummint can't do anything to stop you.

Well, the Smiths, who control the majority of the stock (Sinclair was
the founder's middle name) may own the stations (and that is
questionable also; they have "operating agreements" with other
stations in markets where they already own one, in order to avoid the
(eroding) limits on media ownership); however they DO NOT OWN the
spectrum allocations they broadcast in. That is supposedly held in
trust for its true owners, the American Public, and broadcasters are
granted a LICENSE to use the airwaves that belong to US, in order to
serve the public interest.

The U.S. Government has auctioned portions of the spectrum for use by
mobile phone and PCS services; they have yet to hold such an auction
for the TV spectrum.


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