Notorious Sinclair Broadcasting is ordering its 62 TV stations to run an anti-Kerry documentary, in this case also-known-as free advertising or a smear, shortly before the election.
Whether this violates federal election law or should prompt FCC review as an in-kind contribution to the Bush campaign is up for debate, but what’s more interesting is the comments of Sinclair VP Mark Hyman, as aired on CNN:
“However, the accusations coming from Terry McAuliffe and others, is it because they are some elements of this that may reflect poorly on John Kerry? That it’s somehow an in-kind contribution of George Bush? …
“This is news. I can’t change the fact that these people decided to come forward today. The networks had this opportunity over a month ago to speak with these people. They chose to suppress them. They chose to ignore them. They are acting like Holocaust deniers, pretending these men don’t exist.”
That comment sparked a swift condemnation from the ADL, which called the comment “grossly inappropriate,” “insensitive” and “painful.”
I’ve written in the past on the subject of using the Holocaust for political argument, but the ADL letter brings up the question. Should it be acceptable to use the imagery of the Holocaust “to score a political point?”
UPDATE: Since some have asked why I refer to Sinclair Broadcasting as “notorious,” I’m including this link to a full rundown of Sinclair’s greatest hits. There’s far more information out there, but this very useful primer is courtesy of the Center for American Progress.