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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Kristalnacht: Episode Two

Kerry campaign officials again try to strong-arm free speech.

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The Kerry campaign is at it again, threatening dire consequences if a program critical of the Senator is broadcast by independent TV-station group Sinclair Broadcasting.

Apparently, free speech is a fine thing, provided that it’s Michael Moore’s pseudo-documentaries, but not if it’s critical of liberals.

A NewsMax.com article dated October 12, 2004, reports:

“If John Kerry wins the presidential election three weeks from today, the Sinclair television network had better watch out, a Kerry campaign press aide warned on Tuesday.

“Listen - they better look out there at Sinclair Broadcasting,” campaign spokesman Chad Clanton threatened, as the controversy around Sinclair’s decision to broadcast a documentary about Kerry’s anti-Vietnam War protests continued to heat up. “I’m not a lawyer, but they’ve stirred up a lot of hatred,” Clanton continued to rail on Fox News Channel’s “Dayside with Linda Vester.”

“We’ve got thousands of people now very mad, jackballed up - calling these [Sinclair] stations, protesting, threatening boycotts of their sponsors,” he claimed.

“I think they’re going to regret doing this,” the Kerry spokesman warned before adding - “They better hope we don’t win.”“

The Kerry campaign now says that this was not a threat.  But it would be hard not to believe that the intent was to suggest that a Kerry administration would seek FCC action to put Sinclair out of business by revoking its license to broadcast. 

In any event, this latest strong-arm tactic is a repetition of the pattern of earlier threats by the Kerry campaign.  Both in the present instance and earlier, the Kerry spokesman was Chad Clanton.  The Kerry campaign has not disavowed his threats in either case.

As noted in an August 24, 2004, posting, What’s Next, Kristalnacht?, the Kerry campaign?s response to charges by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth calls to mind the tactics of their fellow socialists in Nazi Germany during the 1930s.  When Hitler didn’t like what was said, his Brown-Shirt Storm Troopers assaulted speakers or burned offending books.

Reacting to the publication of the book “Unfit for Command” before it became a best-seller, Senator Kerry’s campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission seeking to block the book from sale.  Kerry campaign spokesman Chad Clanton was quoted in a CNS News article as saying, ?No publisher should want to be selling books with proven falsehoods in them, especially falsehoods that are meant to smear the military service of an American veteran.  If I were them, I?d be ducking under my desk wondering what to do. This is a serious problem.?