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January 5, 2005
Staples Folds, Will Join Sinclair News Boycott

The attack on Sinclair Broadcasting by Media Matters for America has claimed its first scalp. Staples, the huge office-supplies retailer, has pulled its advertising for all Sinclair news programming, effective January 10th:

Office-supply retailer Staples Inc. is pulling its advertising from news programming on Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. television stations, saying the decision was fueled in part by e-mails from customers angry at what they consider to be the broadcaster's right-wing bias in news and commentary. ...

Staples, which has 1,400 stores, will continue to buy advertising during other programs on Sinclair's 62 stations but, as of Jan. 10, no longer will advertise during news programs, which include "The Point," a daily conservative commentary by Sinclair Vice President Mark E. Hyman.

MMA claims a "partial" victory, stating that all they want is to raise the issue of fairness in regards to the Sinclair commentary rather than a boycott. However, listing all the advertisers for Sinclair and urging their readership to complain certainly looks, smells, and sounds like a boycott, whether MMA chooses to acknowledge it or not. Their statement distancing themselves from any boycott action is disingenuous at best.

MMA, as I've stated before, raises a complete non-issue at Sinclair. The Point is an editorial; it's supposed to take a point of view. Sinclair should not be forced into publishing political speech of which it disapproves, and other stations certainly have the opportunity to broadcast their own editorials in response. Biased reporting doesn't spring from editorials but from poorly-executed news reports that fail to account for all sides of an issue. For real bias, all one has to do is see CBS' forgeries in their TANG smear on George Bush. (Catch up on that story here.)

Besides, boycotts are a free-market approach to political action. MMA shouldn't be ashamed to call for one, if that's what it wants -- and they obviously do. In fact, Staples might want to hear from other people who don't share MMA's point of view on Sinclair's editorials. If you'd like to make your feelings known, simply go here and tell Staples what you think of their courage in support of free speech. You can remind them that Office Depot and Office Max can easily replace Staples for office-supply needs.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 5, 2005 11:45 AM

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» Sinclair and the Fairness Doctrine from The Unusual Suspects
This is wrong. Not the whole action, mind you. I believe that if you want to change something, boycott it all you want. However, this phrase is an unhealthy view of media: Led by Media Matters for America and supported by MoveOn, MediaChannel.o... [Read More]

Tracked on January 5, 2005 2:42 PM

» Staples: Fold, Bend, Mutilate. from One Man's Vote
The good Captain notes that Staples has pulled its advertising from news programs on Sinclair Broadcast Group's television stations (apparently they don't have the balls to simply stop advertising completely on those stations) because of what they cons... [Read More]

Tracked on January 5, 2005 3:25 PM

» Money talks, and sometimes it walks from Pajama Pundits
Who Was That Masked Man? Compare the actions of Bill Cooper to those of Staples. Personally, I much prefer the way Cooper promotes the ideal of free speech over the way Staples folds to a little political pressure. [Read More]

Tracked on January 5, 2005 3:27 PM

» Staples folds up its advertising in the face of a from The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill
Staples folding against Media Matters attack against Sinclair Broadcastings right to have its own opinion broadcast in editorials will come back and bite Staples on the ass. Go here to make your feelings known. I know for one that I will never shop a... [Read More]

Tracked on January 5, 2005 5:03 PM

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