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McCain Slams Sinclair

Vietnam vet and former prisoner of war Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has written Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. president David Smith protesting the company's decision to yank Friday night's Nightline show.

"I find deeply offensive Sinclair's objection to Nightline's intention to broadcast the names and photographs of Americans who gave their lives in service to our country in Iraq. "

Sinclair, the nation's largest TV station owner, said it was pulling the show from its eight ABC affiliates because it believed it was an anti-war statement by ABC news. The network had countered that it was instead an effort to honor the sacrifices made.

McCain agreed with ABC. Calling the move unpatriotic, he said: "There is no valid reason for Sinclair to shirk its responsibility in what I assume is a very misguided attempt to prevent your viewers from completely appreciating the extraordinary sacrifices made on their behalf by Americans serving in Iraq. "

McCain said it was "a solemn responsibility of elected officials to accept responsibility for our decision and its consequences, and, with those who disseminate the news, to ensure that Americans are fully informed of those consequences. "

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.