Honoring US Troops is unpatriotic?

If you’ve been listening to Air America Radio you’ve probably heard about how the Sinclair Broadcasting Group has ordered it’s affiliates to kill Ted Koppel’s tribute to those of our soldiers who’ve paid the ultimate price for Bush’s war.

If you haven’t been listening to Air America Radio, then you really need to start doing so! In the meantime, here’s the scoop. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Nightline & Ted Koppel were planning to read the name and display a picture of every US soldier killed in combat over in Iraq; however they later changed their minds and extended the special to include every soldier killed while serving in Iraq.

This special episode is clearly intended as a tribute to the soldiers as evidenced by this quote from the executive producer of Nightline, Larry Sievers:

These people have paid the ultimate price in our name, and it’s important to remember them whether you think the price is worth it or not. It may not be great television. But it’s the right thing to do, and that’s why we’re doing it.

To most people this seems obvious that Nightline is doing something that’s extremely patriotic; however the Sinclair Broadcast Group (amoung other right-wing nuts1) disagrees and says:

“appears to be motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq.”

It should be noted that SGB owns a large proportion of the ABC-affiliated stations and their blocking of this Nightline special, effectively means that most of the country will not get to see it 2. After hearing all week about how the Bush administration is doing everything they can to stop people from truly feeling the impact of the war on our troops (e.g. blocking the photos of the returning dead, for more info see TheMemoryHole.org); you’d think the right-wing would let this go through; so that their bashing of the left wouldn’t be quite so blatant. You might think that, but you’d be wrong.

*shakes head and sighs* What a world we live in, eh?

So why did I go to the trouble of posting this to my blog? Because it makes it very angry that this SBG it blocking the special. Numbers of the dead or even a list of names don’t bring the full impact of the horror that is war, but maybe just maybe seeing the faces of those soldiers will help to wake America up about what we’re doing over in Iraq. And maybe that will lead to bringing our boys home that much sooner. We can only wait and see what happens.

1 Another example is Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center:

I think it’s intellectually dishonest to deny the partisan nature of this broadcast. Of course, it’s partisan! What’s the purpose? There’s only one goal in mind: It’s to turn public opinion against the war.

2 This is according to Air America Radio’s Unfiltered morning show.

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