October 23, 2004

Sinclair Broadcasting throws together an embarrassing mismash to replace "Stolen Honor."

I watched the Sinclair Broadcasting reconfiguration of the controversial "Stolen Honor" documentary, clumsily titled "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media." The poor production values make it hard to take the substance of the show seriously. The set is flimsy and chaotic; stiff, uncomfortable-looking veterans sit side-by-side with no table to relax their arms on; the voice-over announcer sounds amateurish; the host looks like he's doing his first screen test; the camera quality is at a sub-local-news level; the screen is often cluttered with computer graphics that look as if they belong on community access TV. The material from "Stolen Honor" takes up only a few minutes at the beginning, and the rest of the show is a padded mishmash. The JibJab video is thrown in, along with stock footage of bloggers at the convention. We're given a quick refresher on the McCain-Feingold law and a rehash of the Texas Air National Guard material about Bush. There's a segment on political protest demonstrations. The program ends with a Sinclair Broadcasting statement--words that appear on screen and are read to us by a pompous announcer--informing us of complaints have been filed against Sinclair with the FCC and encouraging us to let the FCC know about Sinclair's First Amendment rights.

What a shabbily thrown-together program! Either they should have shown "Stolen Honor" as originally planned or stuck with their regular programming. What an embarrassment! The best part of the whole show was the "No soup for you" commercial for ConsumerFreedom.com -- which aired twice. You can see the commercial at the link. You can see the original "Stolen Honor" documentary (for a price) here.

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