The revolution will not be televised. The counterrevolution will be.
With the presidential vote less than two weeks away, TV viewers in the capital city of the key battleground state of Ohio will tune in to the conservative-owned Fox network tonight and see some totally outrageous behavior, not to mention one of the world’s craziest videos.
No, really. That’s what’s showing on Fox tonight, in Columbus and everywhere else: Totally Outrageous Behavior airs at 8, followed at 8:30 by The World’s Craziest Videos.
But stay in your chairs, Ohioans. Change channels to the Sinclair chain’s ABC affiliate, WSYX, and wait until 9 for the hastily assembled pseudo-show A POW Story: Politics, Pressure, and the Media. The Yahoo TV listings describe it this way: “Host Jeff Barnd examines media bias and the influence of documentaries, including Stolen Honor, during the 2004 political campaigns.”
A far better description of this crazy video is in this morning’s brilliant Salon piece (available only through paid subscription or with a limited pass but I don’t care) by Eric Boehlert, who notes:
At midweek, Sinclair officials signaled that even they were unsure what the program would look like, so it’s impossible to predict what the show’s final content will be. But given Sinclair’s stated goals of the program—to address “allegations of media bias by media organizations that ignore or filter legitimate news”—along with Sinclair’s obvious Republican sympathies, A POW Story appears to be another blunt instrument with which to bash Kerry.
Unlike Sinclair, Boehlert deals with facts, such as the time in 1996 when Sinclair CEO David Smith was busted during a prostitution sting in Baltimore. “Smith, as part of his plea agreement,” Boehlert writes, “ordered his newsroom employees to produce a series of reports on a local drug counseling program, which counted toward Smith’s court-ordered community service.”
For other facts, such as background on Stolen Honor‘s creator, Carlton Sherwood, see not only Boehlert’s piece but also this entry in Disinfopedia, which tells of the close ties between Sherwood and Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge. (For Ridge’s war of terror in Ohio, see this Bush Beat item.)
Sherwood, whose previous “investigations” uncovered “persecution” of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, has time and again talked bullshit about John Kerry’s 1971 Senate testimony that catalogued atrocities committed by U.S. soldiers.
Like the totally outrageous Fox News video this past March 12, reprised in this World Net Daily story, when Sherwood criticized Kerry this way:
He knew as an officer that those were lies. It never happened. He was principally responsible for cementing the image of Vietnam veterans as drugged-out psychopaths who were totally unrestrained and who were a murderous horde.
Sherwood has also said that “everything that came from the Winter Soldiers hearing has been utterly discredited through volumes and volumes of books.” (Read this Media Matters piece.)
How many times am I going to have to say this? Take a look at Nick Turse‘s Voice piece, “Swift Boat Swill,” which shows that the U.S. military’s own records in the National Archives back up Kerry’s testimony.
For those wondering what Sherwood’s Stolen Honor actually says, the World Net Daily story does give a taste of the narration, including this:
In other wars, captured Americans subjected to the hell of an enemy prison were considered heroes. In other wars, they were not abandoned. In Vietnam, they were betrayed.
Sherwood’s point is that Kerry betrayed them, not only with his testimony but by becoming a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
That war is over. As Herman Edwards said in an entirely different context, “Hello?!”
But Edwards also said, “You play to win the game!” Which is why, I guess, the anti-Kerry forces just can’t stop picking the scabs off old war wounds, instead of helping them heal.
I wish I could watch tonight’s show, but I don’t live in Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Kansas City, Paducah, Minneapolis, Madison, or Milwaukee. And I don’t live in either of the Charlestons—the one in South Carolina or the one in West Virginia. Or in any of the 30 or so other cities where Sinclair affiliates were commanded to air the pseudo-show precariously perched atop fragments of Stolen Honor.
I guess I’ll wait for the sequel: Stolen Election.