Cleveland fights back. By an Eagle-eyed informant:
About 10 people showed up to protest WUAB’s misleading airing of “Stolen Honor” multiple times on the eve of the most important election of our lives.
Laurel had told WUAB (Michelle) that she would call off the 2pm protest if WUAB called off 6pm showing.
We felt that WUAB’s airing of show misled people because it said “Documentary” in much of the film.
WUAB defended its airing, saying that the beginning of the film said that it was a “paid political ad.”
We went into the lobby, hoping to talk to someone there with our request to have them run a panel across the screen saying “paid political ad.” No one answered our call, so we phoned them, asking that someone come down and talk to us about our request. The woman, Michelle, refused to meet with us, and asked us to leave. Laurel barely got a word in edgewise and, at one point, asked if she could complete her sentence. Michelle told Laurel that they did not need to run a panel because it was made clear at the beginning of the film that it was a paid political ad. She eventually hung up on Laurel.
I called back and a man answered. I put the phone on “speaker phone” so all of us could hear him. I tried to tell him what we wanted—a running panel saying “paid political ad”, and he never really let me finish; he just kept telling me that it was not the News department that we should be talking to; that we should call and talk to Programming Department from 10am to 4pm tomorrow. I said that that was too late, and that we just wanted to have them run the panel. He also said that if Kerry wanted to run a political ad, then he would be welcome to. He said that they were offering, for both political parties, a free half hour for political ads, implying that that should be enough to appease us. I asked if they would be willing to run “Going Upriver,” and he told me that that was not his decision–that we should call back tomorrow. He never really responded directly to my request for the running panel, always echoing the “it’s not our job” response. “Is that okay?”, he said. And I said, “No.” He then told us to have a nice day.
After getting off the phone, our small group stayed in the lobby and discussed possible alternatives that we might ask for, given WUAB’s seeming offer to “balance” their time. We discussed what we might ask the progressive community to do to apply pressure to WUAB. We discussed an option of showing “Fahrenheit 9/1″1 in exchange for the hour and a half (or more) of paid political time that was being used by the “Stolen Honor” anti-Kerry film, assuming that we could be Michael Moore to kick in the licensing for free.
Soon, two security guards entered, saying “Out, out” and “You need to leave NOW!”
We believe the “offer” to have alternative access to paid political ads by the Kerry campaign is a bogus offer. It would require a great deal of money that we are not sure the Kerry Campaign is willing or able to provide. All we were asking was the running panel, but the people we said that there was nothing that they can do, and that we contact Programming tomorrow, AFTER the “documentary” airs tonight. Some in our group were content that there was “nothing they could do.” Others of us disagreed.