EXTRA COUNTERPOINT: FIGHT BACK!
Particularly with the shameless decision to force stations to air anti-Kerry propaganda, I’ve gotten a number of requests asking what we can do to respond to Sinclair. With that in mind, here’s a brief list of some things you can do to throw a wrench into the Sinclair machine’s works.
- Write a letter or op-ed piece for your local paper: there’s a lot of people out there who still don’t know what Sinclair is or what their relationship is to stations that seem “local.” Even politically-informed folks often aren’t aware of who Mark Hyman is and why he’s on their airwaves. Telling your neighbors about this in a public forum will help get allies in the anti-Sinclair battle.
- Make a complaint to the FCC: Don’t expect much from Michael Powell & Co., but the more complaints that are filed, the more attention and pressure will build up for something to be done.
- Write to your local Sinclair station: true, local stations have almost no power when they’re owned by Sinclair, but if you make your voice heard by your local stations, they in turn may feel compelled to tell their corporate masters that they’re feeling the heat from their viewers.
- Contact your representatives: your representatives have a duty to you, and even if they’re Republican, they’re going to want to be responsive to their constituents in the run-up to an election. Tell them you’re angry and want them to fight for local control of local airwaves. Remind them that the broadcast spectrum is owned by the people, not by corporations. The airwaves are a public resource. Let them know if they aren’t willing to fight for local control of this resource, they shouldn’t be representing you.
- Contact advertisers on Sinclair stations: local businesses depend on local customers. Write, call, or email businesses that advertise on Sinclair owned stations and let them know that Sinclair is abusing local viewers by forcing the political views of their corporate leaders on their audience. Ask them to consider advertising on truly local media. Regardless of their political affiliation, local business owners will likely be sympathetic to this argument against Sinclair.
- Boycott local businesses that advertise on Sinclair stations: If local businesses continue to advertise on Sinclair stations, let them know you won’t do business with them. This is especially effective if the businesses are those you currently patronize. Let them know you’ll go out of your way to do business with those who advertise in the local media, but that you can’t support a company that defrauds and abuses its customers in the way Sinclair does. You don’t have to be mean about it—let them know that it’s Sinclair you’re upset with, not them. But given that Sinclair isn’t responsive to the wishes of its viewers, the only option you have is to not patronize those who do business with them.
- Organize. With the upcoming airing of “Stolen Honor,” there’s an opportunity to get mobilized. Find people in your area who feel the same. Picket your local Sinclair station or hold a demonstration. Put some money together and buy an ad in a local paper or on a local television station. Even a few people can get a big reaction if a demonstration is done right. Let other local media know about your action. This whole “Stolen Honor” thing has the possibility to backfire in a major way for Sinclair by getting people aware and angry about how they do business.
Here’s a great website where you can sign an anti-Sinclair petition, as well as find all sorts of helpful information, such as who advertises on Sinclair: http://stopsinclair.org/
And that’s The Counterpoint.