Sinclair owned Boise, ID, CBS affiliate KBOI recently ran a couple of promos that seemed to promote a political agenda rather than the station.
While one told viewers “KBOI believes that the best government is small government” the other went after health care reform.
One viewer voiced his opinion of the spots on the station’s facebook page, “Your new commercial is appalling, it’s Fox News Lite. Maybe a boycott of your station is in order until you decide to stop telling people what kind of government they should have and you start reporting the news again in an objective and unbiased manner.”
Pratt added his station didn’t mean “to create a spot that creates an impression of bias. But to the extent that we’ve done that, we’re obviously going to be held accountable for that.”
The spots have stopped airing.
“We’re re-writing the spots,” said Pratt.
Even the top television programming chief at KBOI-TV‘s parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, was taken somewhat aback.
“This comes as a surprise to me,” said M. William Butler, V.P. of Programming and Promotion. “Yeah, that does sound unusual.”
Pratt said KBOI-TV has a strong “viewer advocacy news philosophy.”
“We want to clarify our viewer advocacy position of keeping government open, honest and accountable,” he said. “That was our intention and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Pratt said that the station hadn’t received a lot of viewer feedback but what they did receive was “not what we had hoped for, and that’s why we have to reassess our message and address it.”