Imagine if NBC ordered its affiliates to air Michael Moore's ''Fahrenheit 9/11'' in prime time, 10 days before the election.
We'd expect to hear all sorts of outrage from offended conservatives, screaming foul play and Bush-bashing.
... Well, that has pretty much happened, except in reverse. Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group has ordered all 62 of the television stations it owns, including WYZZ-Channel 43 serving Peoria and Bloomington, to run ''Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,'' a movie critical of John Kerry's post-Vietnam War behavior. You might say many Democrats are miffed. As evidence, they're putting up as many roadblocks to the film's broadcast as they can.
May they be quite unsuccessful, mostly because of a little thing called the First Amendment.
Oh, that's not to suggest that they're wrong to be concerned about opinion masquerading as news, signaling a return to the bad ol' days in America when so much journalism came in shades of yellow. ...
Even so, we cannot join the censors, equally wrong no matter their ideology. We'd only ask that viewers accept this broadcast for what it is, that they approach it with the same healthy skepticism they'd approach Moore's work or anybody else's in this marketplace of competing ideas. Beyond that, they're always free to change channels.
Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.
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