The following is a statement issued Tuesday by FCC commissioner Michael Copps on conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group’s efforts to pre-empt regular programming on its 62 stations and air the anti-John Kerry film Stolen Honor.

Sinclair owns and operates two stations in the Triangle, WRDC (UPN28) and WLFL (WB22). A petition and more information on Sinclair’s effort is at You can reach both stations at 790-9535, 872-9535, 876-0734, 878-6198 and 872-2854, where they are keeping track of how many people are calling to support or oppose the decision.

“This is an abuse of the public trust. And it is proof positive of media consolidation run amok when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology–whether liberal or conservative. Some will undoubtedly question if this is appropriate stewardship of the public airwaves. This is the same corporation that refused to air Nightline‘s reading of our war dead in Iraq. It is the same corporation that short-shrifts local communities and local jobs by distance-casting news and weather from hundreds of miles away. It is a sad fact that the explicit public interest protections we once had to ensure balance continue to be weakened by the Federal Communications Commission while it allows media conglomerates to get even bigger. Sinclair, and the FCC, are taking us down a dangerous road.”