TBogg

Mark Hyman: American Weasel

Read about Mark here.

Read Mark being an asshole, here.

HEMMER: Mark, let me try and cut through this a little bit. Is there a bias at Sinclair against John Kerry?

HYMAN: Why would you say that? Because we’re presenting a side…

HEMMER: I’m just asking it. Is there, or not?

HYMAN: I certainly hope not. There shouldn’t be. There are going to be people who are going to want to get this story out. We want to get this story out.

I think the question should be asked of the networks: Why aren’t they talking about this issue? Probably perhaps more importantly: Why won’t John Kerry speak with these Vietnam POWs? He has been avoiding them for 31 years. If he’s afraid of a bunch of 60 and 70- year-old men who were wounded and tortured in Vietnam, what does it say about his ability to respond to al Qaeda if they were to attack the U.S. if he were serving as president?

If he’s afraid of Americans — you know, what’s the story here? Why can’t he sit down and speak with these Americans who deserve to have their voice heard?

HEMMER: The reason I asked the question about bias, why not allow the individual stations to make up their own mind on this?

HYMAN: Because you know better, Bill, and don’t be absurd about this whole thing. Just like Sears tells all of its stores, “You will sell Craftsman tools.” McDonald’s tells all of its restaurants, “You will have a sesame seed bun.” That’s the business we’re in.

We make programming decisions on a day-to-day basis. We sell advertising on a day-to-day basis. This is the way networks operate. This is the way all television stations operate. This is the way most businesses operate when you have a number of affiliates or a number of franchises. It’s the way the business operates.

To suggest that our TV stations are all simply stand-alone franchises and the local general manager can make any decision he wants about the program he carries is actually factually incorrect. Because CBS News has — rather CBS network, as an example, makes certain all of its stations carry CBS programming, not ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

HEMMER: Let me try and go back to April, then, for a second here. “Nightline,” when ABC and Ted Koppel aired all the dead in Iraq to date back in April, Sinclair had a big problem with it, ordered at least seven stations, I believe — if I have my facts right here — not to air “Nightline” that evening. Sinclair believed that was a political statement disguised as news.

Can you understand how some may see the same act now the same way?

HYMAN: Well, that wasn’t us that made that original decision. That was George Stephanopoulos who announced on his program that is was a political decision. He said this was aired — this was going to be aired to coincide with the president’s “mission accomplished” statement.

George Stephanopoulos, five days earlier, said on his program — he made it very clear this was a political statement. We asked ABC News what are your intentions; they refused to speak to us. So, that certainly created — heightened our concerns about their intention behind this program.

But let’s get back to the real issue at stake, which is these prisoners of war. They have earned their right to be heard more than…

HEMMER: All right.

HYMAN: … anybody else when it comes to Vietnam. John Kerry can put this whole issue to rest if he simply decides to sit down and speak with these people…

HEMMER: OK.

HYMAN: … address their concerns. He can put this entire issue to rest.

HEMMER: We’ve got to go. Mark, thanks.

HYMAN: Thank you, Bill.(my emphasis)

Contact Mark here.

Go after Sinclair here.

Make Mark’s life miserable anyway you want.

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