Only about four minutes of Carlton Sherwood's anti-Kerry film, "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal," were included - and virtually the same amount of time was devoted to an excerpt from "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry," a film by George Butler that presents Mr. Kerry as a war hero.
The program was apparently balanced enough to satisfy a consortium of media watchdog groups, which held a telephone news conference last night to say Sinclair had acted responsibly. It also enraged a number of conservative viewers who tuned in expecting to see a hour of attacks on Mr. Kerry.
The prevailing theme of conservative viewers, as expressed on Internet Weblogs and chat rooms last night, was that Sinclair, the nation's largest local television station owner, had backed down as it saw its stock price plummet and came under intense heat from shareholder groups and advertisers for putting the company's political views ahead of its business interests.
Damned right they caved, and rightly so- as David Brock pointed out, Sincliar had a legal responsibility to devote equal time to a rebuttal.
(I personally don't see how you can't do this without a fairness doctrine, and would love to see, really, media companies challenged more on this.)